Ready News: February 15, 2019

New Tool to Help Communities Align and Integrate Resources

Helping to reconnect youth back to education and employment and get them on a path to a successful transition to adulthood that includes economic self-sufficiency, skills that support independent living and improved health, mental health and well-being can be challenging. Youth development stakeholders and beneficiaries (i.e., the youth themselves) describe significant challenges that hinder meaningful improvements in education, employment, health and well-being outcomes. Such challenges include: poor coordination across the systems that serve youth; policies that make it hard to engage the most vulnerable youth with services and resources to help them overcome personal barriers; fragmented data systems that inhibit the flow of information across systems to improve results; and administrative requirements that impede holistic approaches to serving youth; among other factors. Addressing these challenges requires services and expertise from multiple systems, including education, health and mental health, workforce development, job training, housing, social services, criminal justice, child welfare and other systems. A new tool from JFF and the Forum for Youth Investment, “Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Program Implementation: A Tool for Community Reflection,” will help communities identify, align, and integrate resources so they can strengthen systems and partnerships to design high-impact programming for opportunity youth. It is designed to lead communities through a series of questions that should allow them to better determine when an innovative solution is needed to implement strategies that serve their goals.

Learn more.

Best Practices for Running High-Quality Summer Programs Recently, the Wallace Foundation released two new products aimed at helping districts and community-based organizations create high-quality summer programs.

  • A newly updated report by the RAND Corporation, “Getting to Work on Summer Learning, Second Edition,” explains the elements of successful summer programs, offering school districts advice on staffing, recruitment, creating a positive climate and so much more.
  • The accompanying online Summer Learning Toolkit, mapped to RAND’s findings, features more than 50 practical tools and planning resources to help school districts and their partners design and deliver high-quality summer programs.

The report and toolkit draw on lessons from the National Summer Learning Project, launched in 2011. The project, based on the experiences of five urban school districts, examines whether and how districts and their out-of-school partners can offer large-scale, voluntary summer programs that improve academic, social-emotional and behavioral outcomes for children. In prior reports, RAND has found promising evidence that students with high attendance over two consecutive summers outperform their peers in English language arts and math, as well as show stronger social and emotional skills.

Join Us for the 8th Annual Ready by 21 National Meeting!

The Forum for Youth Investment will be hosting our eighth annual Ready by 21 National Meeting on April 23-25, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. Experts from across the country will come together to share best practices for improving the lives of young people. The National Meeting brings together more than 600 local, state and national leaders who like you are committed to improving partnerships, policies and practices for children and youth. These leaders manage change at all levels – from state policy coordination and community-wide cradle-to-career efforts to out-of-school time systems, single-issue coalitions and neighborhood-based initiatives. They come from business, nonprofits, education, policy, philanthropy and intermediaries at the national, state and local levels. At the core of the National Meeting are the workshops that educate and inspire the hundreds of leaders in attendance to do the ground work in ensuring that all young people are ready to succeed. Our workshops are designed to provide varying levels of content and presentation formats in order to better equip communities of all shapes and those in various stages of change.

We invite you to register today!

Social and Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time: Foundations and Futures

“It is now time to demonstrate the value of the practitioners by supporting efforts to codify ‘what and how’ lessons to create a field of adult practice that focuses on modeling, teaching and enabling social and emotional development through active reflection and engagement.” Karen Pittman, president and CEO of the Forum, charges us to move beyond demonstrating the value of “where” and “when” in out-of-school time settings in a recent publication of the Information Age Publishing (IAP) series, “Current Issues in Out-of-School Time.” This volume contains chapters from experts in the field, including staff from the Forum’s Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, as well as a closing commentary from Karen Pittman, and focuses on social and emotional learning from a variety of perspectives to offer a clear framing of SEL in relation to other OST concepts and initiatives.

Learn more and read the full volume.

Collective Impact Learning Lab – Ready by 21 version: Tools & Techniques for Achieving Results March 26-27, 2019 Silver Spring, Maryland

Please join us for a practical, hands-on two-day workshop and coaching session designed for backbone leaders, steering committee members and other partners actively involved in community change efforts focused on children & youth. The workshop is designed for leaders who are thinking about how the critical tasks of community change management can be staged and sequenced in order to move steadily towards improving outcomes. It is particularly useful for those in the early stages of forming or planning an initiative, or in the process of re-igniting or refreshing their initiative for the next phase of joint work. Special emphasis is given to tools and techniques that help leaders align and connect multiple issues and efforts, identifying areas for joint planning and action.

Learn more and register today.