Ready News: March 19, 2021

Registration Now Open for the 9th Annual Ready by 21 National Meeting

The Forum is excited to offer the 9th annual Ready by 21 National Meeting online, on May 19-20, 2021! Registration is now open, and we encourage you to reserve your spot as soon as possible.

Every year, the Ready by 21 National Meeting brings together hundreds of leaders from around the country who are working to get all young people ready by 21 – for college, work, and life. These leaders have dedicated themselves to improving the odds for children and youth by improving & aligning policies, planning and partnering for impact, and strengthening practices and programs.

Participants will hear strategies, research, and stories about partnering for better impact, aligning policies, improving program quality and performance, and embracing readiness in the pursuit of equity.

Learn more and register today!



March Making the Invisible Visible Discussion: The Build Forward Together Summer Challenge

Tuesday, March 30 
12:00-1:30 pm ET 

What will summer 2021 look like? It won’t look like 2019, and it certainly shouldn’t look like 2020. It could, with effort, begin to preview “the new normal.” The Readiness Projects Build Forward Together Summer Challenge is officially underway to help communities think about how we can use summer 2021 to document, design, test, or even scale up some ways to Build Forward Together to make a down payment on longer-term change to reimagine learning and development. Join us in the re-launch of the Making the Invisible Visible discussion series as we highlight work already underway at a national, state, and local level and bring light to the lessons learned about the power and potential of summer. The session will also highlight the exciting planning underway to make summer 2021 an exceptional summer of learning, healing, connection, and fun.

Register now!



Amplifying our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Supports

The COVID-19 pandemic and the national reckoning with racial injustice have overwhelmingly brought to the forefront the need to attend to the social and emotional well-being of both young people and youth work professionals. In response to this need, the Forum’s Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality has been working to create, elevate, and refine its SEL resources to support youth workers, leaders, and systems in the out-of-school time field as we navigate this challenging time.

This spring, the Weikart Center will be hosting several virtual learning opportunities that aim to equip participants with strategies to strengthen their SEL practices to better support young people.

Click on the links below to learn more and to register.



America After 3pm: Demand Grows, Opportunity Shrinks

Without question, the pandemic is making things harder for students—many are falling behind academically. A recent report that looks at family attitudes toward afterschool programming shortly before and then during the pandemic documents widespread concern among parents about the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on their children beyond classroom learning. Among other things, America After 3pm: Demand Grows, Opportunity Shrinks finds that 84 percent are concerned about their child’s social and emotional wellbeing, and 55 percent about the increase in unsupervised time for their child.

Commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance and conducted by Edge Research, the report is based in large part on responses to an early 2020 survey of more than 30,000 U.S. families. Building on surveys conducted in 2004, 2009 and 2014, it offers a pre-pandemic snapshot of how children and youth spent their afternoons. To capture the pandemic’s impact on afterschool, the report also includes results from a separate survey of parents conducted in October 2020.

Before the COVID crisis, the families of 24.6 million children—more than ever before—were unable to gain access to a program, the report finds. In fall 2020, the coronavirus was a top concern for parents who chose not to enroll their child in an afterschool program, but many described pre-pandemic barriers as well, including cost, lack of a safe way to get to and from the program, and inconvenient location/hours.

Read more.