Ready News: February 20, 2020

Join Us for the 9th Annual Ready by 21 National Meeting!

The Forum for Youth Investment will be hosting our ninth annual Ready by 21 National Meeting from April 15-17, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. 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!

Opportunity Index User Guide 

A new guide is available to help individuals better understand how opportunity in their community is determined and distributed, and how to put this knowledge to use. The guide will allow users to navigate the Opportunity Index, and will help donors, community members, policymakers, and researchers make data-driven decisions about where and how to widen opportunity and reduce disparities in their communities.

The Opportunity Index ( compiles and analyzes timely and critical national-, state-, and county-level data so that communities can build opportunity. Individuals, families, communities, and governments all influence access to opportunity and well-being, and improvement efforts can occur simultaneously at all levels, making measuring opportunity a difficult task. To track successes and challenges and illuminate context, communities need tools like the Opportunity Index that provide credible and compelling data. Identifying key leverage points and inequities can put communities on a path to open doors for more people and improve outcomes.

Learn more.

Webinar Series on the Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has launched a new webinar series based on the recent report The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth. This report from the Board on Children, Youth, and Families examines the neurobiological and socio-behavioral science of adolescent development and identifies how these findings can be applied to four key sectors: health, education, justice, and child welfare.

The webinar series will discuss how systems can capture the opportunity of this developmental period. Experts from the committee will discuss the recent advances in adolescent development science and the opportunities for implementing developmentally-informed practices within each sector. The webinar series will be of interest to practitioners, advocates, researchers, parents, and adolescents.

The next session will be held on February 26 from 2:00-3:00 pm ET on the topic of opportunities for the child welfare system and will feature Leslie Leve with the University of Oregon and Susan Mangold with the Juvenile Law Center.

Learn more and register.

Recognizing Opportunities to Integrate Social-Emotional Learning

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is being increasingly discussed in relation to out-of-school time (OST) settings. To many OST leaders, SEL renews the field’s long-standing commitment to youth development and represents an opportunity to bring a more intentional, research-based approach to helping young people thrive. It can be difficult to know where to start when implementing SEL and how the myriad tools and initiatives can fit together cohesively to support youth social-emotional development.

In the latest issue of Afterschool Today, the quarterly publication of the National Afterschool Association, the Forum’s own David Martineau explores how to effectively incorporate SEL into OST settings. The lessons learned that Dave and co-author Tricia Maas share are that program quality is an essential foundation for SEL, high quality professional learning for staff is essential, and using research-based SEL programming will drive the work of the organization forward and meaningfully support young people’s social-emotional development.

Review the article.

Jim Shelton Featured on the 180 Podcast in a Discussion on Innovations in Learning, Teaching, and Educating 

Turnaround for Children hosts a podcast series, The 180, that features leading voices in American education, health, and child development. The 180 explores how to transform 21st century education – how to turn it around – using 21st century science. The science explaining how children learn and develop is incredibly optimistic about what is possible for each and every child. If applied, it could unleash talent and potential in classrooms everywhere.

Jim Shelton, Chief Investment and Impact Officer at Blue Meridian Partners, was recently featured in a discussion about innovating our approach to learning, teaching, and educating, and using that innovation to create more opportunity, greater equity, and better student outcomes. Shelton previously served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education under President Obama – a role he took after overseeing the Office of Innovation, which included managing the government’s Investing in Innovation Fund.

Recent episodes of The 180 featured Na’ilah Suad Nassir, Todd Rose, Linda Darling-Hammond, and the Forum’s Karen Pittman.

Listen to the conversation.