Ready News: February 5, 2021

The Transformative Potential of Community-Based, Learner-Centered Ecosystems

February 12, 2021
2:00-3:00 pm EST

Disruption creates opportunity. COVID and continued racial reckonings have exposed many of the inefficiencies and inequities that are baked into our public education system and, more broadly, into public conceptions of how learning happens. Every school leader is committed to “building back better.” Many, having seen the innovation and resourcefulness of families and community organizations who stepped in to fill the complex void suddenly created by school closings, are seeing the value of building forward together – thinking about how to better leverage the assets of these critical learning partners. Only a few, however, are thinking about how to use the disruption to fundamentally transform their schools to have youth empowerment, equity, and community baked into their core.

Join the Forum for Youth Investment’s Karen Pittman and Education Reimagined’s Kelly Young as they delve into what it will take to seize this opportunity by harnessing the pre-COVID lessons of leaders across the country who are committed to activating a learner-centered future for education. Kelly is the founder and president of Education Reimagined, a national nonprofit committed to transforming education in the United States. In this reimagined future, education is no longer an isolated institution that judges and promotes young people based on comparisons to averages. Rather, it is a learning ecosystem where the community and world are the playground for learning; and young people-no matter who they are or where they are from-are supported to thrive and contribute in a complex, fast-changing, and interconnected world.

Join us to learn about the exciting work already happening around the country as educators, parents, and communities are finding new ways to blur the lines between formal and informal learning and recognize the importance and power of what happens outside the school walls. Be prepared to think with us about what it will take to transform pockets of innovation into fully supported ecosystems of learning. Now is the time we fundamentally shift the direction of education and demonstrate what learning can look like when the community comes together to support young people to learn and thrive.

Register now.



Building Partnerships Inside and Outside the Classroom

February 19, 2021
1:00-2:00 PM EST

Authentic school-community partnerships help create and support positive student experiences both in school and out of school. But how do you align in-school and out-of-school work on social and emotional learning? That’s what the Partnerships for Social Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI), funded by the Wallace Foundation, sought to uncover in a multiyear project across six school district communities. Learn more via a brief video.

Join CASEL, the Wallace Foundation, and district and community leaders from Palm Beach County as they share findings about how school and out-of-school time partners can work together to align and implement SEL. Recommended for district leaders, school leaders, and community partners, attendees will gain insights about how to support the adults in the community, improve school climate, and create seamless experiences for students.

CASEL CARES is an initiative for anyone who supports young people to connect to experts in social and emotional learning on key topics during these challenging times.

Register now.



Kids, Families, and COVID-19

How are households with families faring during the pandemic? A new KIDS COUNT policy report, “Kids, Families and COVID-19,” seeks to answer this question with findings primarily based on surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread economic damage and isolated families in unprecedented ways. Parents have had to juggle both educating and caring for their children and millions of Americans have lost not just their jobs, but their sense of stability, sources of income, and health care.

To succeed now and after the pandemic, families must have good health, both physical and mental, and the health care to maintain it. They must also have food and the money to buy it; safe, stable housing and communities; education and the means to access it; and quality childcare so that parents can work.

Read the report.



Creating Conditions for Student Success

As schools and communities seek to reinvent and recover amid intersecting medical, economic, and racial crises, the time is ripe for state-level leaders to take an active role in helping schools create a positive learning environment for all students and teachers, both in-person and virtually. To aid with this effort, the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program and ExcelinEd recently released Creating Conditions for Student Success: A Policymakers’ School Climate Playbook. The School Climate Playbook provides state leaders with real-world, proven strategies and opportunities to create comprehensive state-wide systems with supportive, safe, and student-centered schools.

Review the playbook.



Youth Leading Racial Healing: Power of Youth Challenge

Youth Leading Racial Healing: Power of Youth Challenge is an initiative that will advance positive youth development, encourage youth civic engagement, and strengthen young people’s career skills by activating youth-led efforts to promote racial equity and address systemic racism. The Power of Youth Challenge, led by America’s Promise Alliance, provides young people (ages 13-19) across the U.S. with the opportunity to identify a need in their communities related to racial healing and apply for a $250 grant to support a (COVID-safe) youth-designed and youth-led service project.

The Challenge launched on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, the National Day of Racial Healing. The purpose of the projects will be to:

  1. Reinforce and honor our common humanity, while celebrating the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant.
  2. Acknowledge the deep racial divisions that exist in America and empower young people to curate experiences that help people of all ages heal.
  3. Engage young people from all racial and ethnic groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring, and respect for one another.
  4. Activate young people to play an important role in addressing systemic racism in their communities through service.

Learn more.