Ready News: June 28, 2021

Rebuilding with Adolescents in Mind

A Return to School Webinar Series – July 2021 

Whether returning to the classroom for the first time since early 2020, transitioning from hybrid back to a regular schedule, or returning to a routine with less disruption, this fall will be an inflection point for the adolescents in our communities. Tweens and teens have been deeply impacted, not just by the COVID pandemic, but by the racial reckonings across the nation. While many of our early efforts of support necessarily focused on younger kids, now is the time to turn our attention to and invest deeply in adolescents. Join us in an expanded conversation on adolescents and the pandemic with education, community, medical, and wellness experts, as well as youth themselves.

This four-part webinar series in July 2021 will support any adults who work with adolescents to:

  • More deeply understand the adolescent experience over the last 18 months through both science and hearing directly from young people.
  • Consider how we cannot just build back focused on our own systems, classrooms, or programs, but Build Forward Together.
  • Reimagine what schools might look like this fall to most effectively support adolescent learning and development.

This webinar series is supported by the Readiness Projects, the Center for the Developing Adolescent, and Youth-Nex.

Register now:



Launch: An Innovative Approach to Reaching Opportunity Youth

The Forum for Youth Investment has released a new evaluation report on Launch: an initiative of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development. Launch is an innovative coalition of partners who recruit and coach Opportunity Youth who live in public subsidized housing as they navigate the workforce, education, and career resources available to them. This new evaluation report highlights the learning from and adaptations made by the partnership, the focus on youth voice, the value of housing as an active partner, and the focus on dosage – i.e., what does it take to make a change. Evaluation results confirmed that Launch is a promising approach to connecting 18–24-year-olds living in subsidized housing to college and career pathways.

There is also an accompanying field scan compiled for Launch, discussing both the evidence base that investing in programs to support Opportunity Youth can lead to positive outcomes for youth and for society and the key features of interventions to support Opportunity Youth in the context of Launch.

Read the evaluation report.

Explore the field scan.



2021 Virtual Adolescent Health Summer Institute

Presented by the University of Minnesota Center for Adolescent Nursing 
July 26-29, 2021

Over the last 18 months, young people have experienced tremendous levels of social change. Today’s adolescents are coming of age amidst a global pandemic, police violence, and social upheaval. These factors combine to amplify existing societal inequities and contribute to increasing mental health concerns among youth.

At the 2021 Adolescent Health Summer Institute, participants will explore healthy youth development – what it means here and now. Building on four decades of research, speakers will explore how racial inequity, COVID-19, and mental health concerns are converging to affect young people’s health and healthy development. The event will examine social determinants of healthy development, including structural and institutional racism, through the lens of schools, communities, and families. Attendees will reflect on how COVID-19 has and will continue to transform the landscape of adolescent development. They will delve into effective strategies and best practices for supporting adolescents’ mental health and healthy development. Sessions will also examine the importance of engaging young people as problem solvers and powerful change agents in their families, peer groups, and communities.

The Forum’s Karen Pittman will be a featured presenter at the institute.

Register now.



Where Do We Go Next?

A new America’s Promise Alliance and Research for Action report, Where Do We Go Next? Youth Insights on the High School Experience During a Year of Historic Upheaval, presents findings from a wide-ranging, national survey of more than 2,400 high school students, providing one of the most comprehensive looks yet at the high school experience during a tumultuous year marked by a global pandemic, heightened attention to racial injustice, and upended plans. The report shares key findings around high school students’ mental health & wellbeing, opportunities to learn about race and racism in the classroom, and the impacts of COVID-19 on their postsecondary planning. Based on these findings, the report advises state and district leaders to prioritize support for high school students in their recovery planning for next school year and beyond.

Read more.