Ready News: October 4, 2019

Share Your Story at the 9th Annual Ready by 21 National Meeting

The Forum for Youth Investment is now accepting workshop proposals for the Ready by 21 National Meeting being held in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 15-17, 2020 and we encourage you to submit your ideas! As you’ll see in the Request for Proposals, the workshops are designed to help participants dig deeper into the effective partnerships, practices and policies that states and communities are implementing to improve outcomes for young people. Click here for guidance into the four meeting themes:

  • Ensuring Readiness for college, work, and life, by building competencies, abilities, and mindsets.
  • Promoting Equity for all young people, especially closing gaps for populations often facing great challenges (e.g., boys & young men of color, opportunity youth, youth in foster care, pregnant & parenting youth) and creating equitable learning environments for all.
  • Improving Program and Practice Quality and effectiveness in ways that spark management & staff engagement and support better outcomes for young people.
  • Increasing Shared Commitment to changing the odds for young people through common goals, strategies and measures within and across systems & sectors.

The deadline for submission is Friday, November 1 at 5:00 PM ET. For more information and to review the 2019 National Meeting agenda for ideas, please visit the Ready by 21 National Meeting website.

Moving from Research to Implementation in Social and Emotional Learning: Exploring the Kernels of Practice with Stephanie Jones

Free Webinar
Wednesday, October 30
2:00-3:00 PM EDT

There’s a growing consensus in the youth-serving field of the vital importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) for young people. Research over many years suggests that preparing children to be caring, ethical, contributing adults requires supporting their development of social and emotional skills. These skills include focusing and deploying attention, understanding and managing emotions, empathizing with and respecting others, navigating social conflicts effectively, and standing up for principles of justice and fairness.

So we know it’s important, but how do we actually put it in practice in our daily interactions with young people? What if your organization or school lacks the funding or time to implement a full-blown evidence-based curriculum or program?

Stephanie Jones and the EASEL (Ecological Approaches to Social and Emotional Learning) team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education proposed identifying and using ‘kernels,” or small-scale strategies that can address specific behavior needs and are quickly taught and implemented (e.g. deep-breathing exercises for calming or hand signals to show a change in direction). These kernels represent the most common and most effective elements found in dozens of programs.

We invite you to join Forum President & CEO Karen Pittman as she sits down with Stephanie Jones to discuss the January 2017 report, “Kernels of Practice for SEL: Low-Cost, Low-Burden Strategies,” and lessons learned to date about how effective these practices are and how this more flexible, cost effective approach to practice improvement can contribute to giving more adults in more settings the confidence and skills they need to support SEL.

Register now!

Report on Children Living in Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods

Recently, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a new KIDS COUNT® data snapshot, “Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods,” a brief examining the number of children living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty in each state.

Despite a strong national economy, too many children are growing up in communities where at least 30 percent of people are living below poverty. Research shows these neighborhoods often lack adequately resourced schools, access to quality jobs for parents and guardians and safe recreational spaces for children. “Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods” provides recommendations on how policymakers can ensure kids and families in these communities can thrive.

Review the report.

Learn more about opportunity scores in your community using the Forum’s Opportunity Index.

Shaping Summertime Experiences

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), with support from the Wallace Foundation, just released “Shaping Summertime Experiences,” a comprehensive report examining the state of the evidence on summer learning in America. The goal of the consensus study is to “provide a path forward that is actionable for policy makers, funders, sectors, and agents involved in the environments and experiences of children and youth in summertime to improve the quality, effectiveness, and equity of their efforts,” according to the authors.
You can read the full report here.

Financing for Youth Programming

The Children’s Funding Project recently released a report titled “Innovative Financing to Expand Programming and Services So Children Can Thrive.” Co-written with Harvard’s EdRedesign Lab, the report introduces cities and localities around the US to lesser-known ways of raising revenue for their children’s programming. Some of these unique methods, instituted in cities and rural communities alike, include PILOT repayments, Pay for Success bonds, and community benefit agreements.