Last week brought the sad passing of Richard Murphy, an innovator in American youth work. Here we share reflections about Richard’s work from his friend Karen Pittman, CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, along with links to other reflections and stories.
The past few years have brought a renewal and reframing of two powerful American ideas: collective action and individual success. And now these ideas are coming together at the intersection of "collective impact" and "opportunity youth." Rarely do we have such an chance to combine concepts that could fundamentally change how decision makers think about policy, practice and human potential.
Karen Pittman discusses the implications of a new study of the Youth Program Quality Intervention, a data-driven continuous improvement model for afterschool programs. The study shows that afterschool program quality can be measured, and that a quality improvement system can work across different types of systems and settings.
If we are going to reach people's hearts with stories of how we are changing the odds for young people, Karen Pittman says we must harness the power of one: Not only the story of one youth or one family, but also of one school system, one neighborhood, one coalition, one community. And we must tell stories that start with an individual young person but unfold to reveal our complex agenda for change.
You wouldn't expect an organization of retired generals to publicly take on the issue of how well third graders read. But the group called Misson: Readiness has done just that, and all of us who carry out Ready by 21 strategies or simply care about youth should take heed.
In this issue Karen Pittman, President and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, takes a look at the KIDS COUNT Data Book produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She makes the case that supports for children and youth need to extend beyond the education pipeline and into young adulthood.