Ready News: January 11, 2022

Young People Address the Nation

This February, young changemakers will host the second Young People Address the Nation, a national day of action hosted by to elevate the voices and priorities of young changemakers during this pivotal turning point in the United States.

With the focus of reaching and deeply engaging Black, Brown, Latinx, and Indigenous young adults ages 16 to 30 who want to see themselves represented in the news and media, Young People Address the Nation will feature live streams, social media campaigns, interactive spaces, and more.

The Forum is a founding partner in Youth Action Hour, a national initiative led by young people of color.

Learn more and sign up for future events.

Youth Engagement in Practice: New Brief from American Institutes for Research (AIR)

As leaders work with youth to re-engage and reconnect, youth development organizations are partnering with youth in authentic, meaningful ways.

Youth engagement is a “win-win proposition”—it benefits young people, adults, and organizations. Young people are the experts of their own lived experiences. Youth can benefit from meaningful opportunities that foster learning and help them develop skills, habits, mindsets, and identities. Adults can enhance their own competencies, learn to better understand and value youth, and increase their commitment to their organizations. Organizations can develop services that are more relevant and responsive to young people’s strengths and challenges.

AIR interviewed six youth development organizations in Chicago to learn about their youth engagement strategies. Their new brief, “Youth Engagement in Practice,” highlights five youth engagement strategies:

  • Prepare youth and adults to be successful.
  • Build community and positive relationships.
  • Design meaningful opportunities.
  • Value young people’s time and contributions.
  • Embrace a culture of vulnerability.

Read more.

Methods and Emerging Strategies to Engage People with Lived Experience

A new brief from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identifies methods and emerging strategies to engage people with lived experience in federal research, programming, and policymaking. The brief, “Methods and Emerging Strategies to Engage People with Lived Experience,” draws on lessons learned from federal initiatives across a range of human services areas to identify ways that federal staff can meaningfully and effectively engage people with lived experience.

Learn More.

How States and Communities Are Maximizing American Rescue Plan Funding for Kids in 2022 and Beyond

Webinar by the Children’s Funding Project 
January 18, 2022 3:00-4:00 PM ET 

The Children’s Funding Project will host a webinar next week to refocus attention on the immense opportunity American Rescue Plan funding continues to offer to states and communities looking to invest in children and families. This webinar will highlight the interactive American Rescue Plan funding web tool, newly updated in 2022 with examples of how states and communities are turning their federal allocations into action for kids. The webinar will also feature leaders from some of these exemplary places as they share their successes, challenges, and plans for sustainable investment beyond one-time recovery funds. The discussion will inspire ideas and provide concrete action steps for anyone interested in maximizing federal dollars for children and youth as part of a broader long-term investment plan.

Helping Children Feel Safe, Understood, and Supported

Wallace Foundation Blog by Stephanie Jones, PhD, Gerald S. Lesser Professor in early Childhood Development, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education 


This is how I would describe the last two school years. But there is one thing I would predict about the year that’s just beginning: it will be just as turbulent, if not more so.

As adults debate or even fight over whether to wear masks, get vaccinated or even have our kids go in to school at all, we are creating an atmosphere of instability and worry around our children. Neither are conducive to learning, as safety and predictability are prerequisites to academic progress. Forget catching up on learning loss—unless we can create a secure, predictable atmosphere in our homes and schools, we’ll continue to short-change our children and we won’t see the progress we are hoping for.

So, what can teachers and parents do to help children feel stable, safe and ready to learn? My counsel is to return to social and emotional learning (SEL) fundamentals, processes that develop an array of skills and competencies that students need in order to set goals, manage behavior, build relationships and process and remember information, but that also help them manage and respond to stress and trauma.

Read more.