Ready News: July 9, 2021

The Forum for Youth Investment Names Mishaela Durán as New President & CEO

The Forum is pleased to announce Mishaela Durán will become the next President & CEO and will advance a comprehensive vision for changing the odds that all young people are ready by 21 for college, work, and life. Durán is a recognized leader and champion in the youth development field.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Forum for Youth Investment as the next CEO, building off of Karen Pittman’s incredible legacy and advancing a racial equity agenda to unleash the full potential of children and youth so they are ready for college, work, and life,” said Mishaela Durán. “As a Latina, with lived experience in the child welfare system and a leader in education and human services, I understand firsthand the importance of harnessing the power across sectors and systems to change the odds for children and youth. We have an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine youth-serving systems through a racial equity lens.”

A native of Apache County, Arizona, one of the poorest counties in the nation, Durán credits her background and experiences with intergenerational poverty and as a youth in foster care to fueling a lifelong passion to help young people of color find their way in the world.

“Mishaela is exactly what the Forum needs at this junction in its history. I’m in awe of the breadth and depth of her experience and drive,” said Karen Pittman, the Forum’s co-founder, former CEO, and now senior fellow. “The Forum is in great hands and I have a powerful new ally as the next chapter in changing the odds for youth unfolds.”

Read the full announcement.



2021 Kids Count Data Book Examines How Young People Have Fared During the Pandemic

The 32nd edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book describes how children across the United States were faring before — and during — the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s publication continues to deliver the Foundation’s annual state rankings and the latest available data on child well-being. It identifies multiyear trends — comparing statistics from 2010 to 2019. In addition, the report shares data on how families endured throughout the pandemic and offers policy recommendations to address challenges that were heightened during the pandemic.

Read more.



2020 State Policy Survey: Child & Youth Policy Coordinating Bodies in the United States

The 2020 State Policy Survey analyzes the partnerships, goals, data, accomplishments, and challenges that the coordinating bodies of the State Children’s Cabinet Network navigated in the past year. This biennial survey is the nation’s only survey of state child and youth policy coordinating bodies – offering detailed insights to those who work to serve young people.

The 2020 iteration of this survey is special in that it explores the ways that children’s cabinets navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and grappled with a racial justice reckoning that inspired equity-centric pivots, practices, and policies worth highlighting and prioritizing in the future.

Review the findings.



SEL and Character-Building Program Practices

Learning in Afterschool & Summer Blog

Recognizing that we hear a lot about the “why” of SEL and character building and less about the application (the “what” and “how”) within expanded learning (afterschool) programs, the Learning in Afterschool & Summer team was interested in hearing from programs about how they promote these skills. After putting out an announcement asking afterschool programs to submit a program practice, they compiled the practices into a paper, “Promising Activities, Practices and Resources: Promoting SEL and Character Skills in Expanded Learning Programs,” and highlighted some of the programs and practices through a recent blog post.

Read the blog.


Enhanced Summer Program Models in Tulsa and Palm Beach County

This past year has presented school districts around the country many challenges but also opportunities to try new models for student engagement. A recent USA Today article highlights how districts such as Palm Beach County in Florida and Tulsa Public Schools in Oklahoma are implementing enhanced summer programs that mix academics with play and in-person socialization.

These two sites are both part of the Wallace Foundation’s Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI), an effort in six communities that explores whether and how students will benefit if adults in schools and out-of-school time (OST) programs work together to align and improve experiences and climates to foster social and emotional learning. This work includes helping students develop skills such as self-control, teamwork, persistence, and goal-setting, and helping adults develop the competencies needed to promote this skill development among the students with whom they work.

Read the USA Today piece.

Listen to a recent podcast series on PSELI.