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Ready News: April 11, 2013

Ready News
April 11, 2013

Crucial Moment for Opportunity Youth; How to Improve Afterschool Quality


Opportunity Youth: Our "Market-Making Moment"
When former White House domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes stood before 300 community leaders last month to talk about the Opportunity Youth movement, she began with a story about suitcases on wheels. Why? Because roller bags, she said, offer a lesson in how to recognize and capitalize on a "market-making moment" - which is where we now stand in the mission to change the odds for youth who are disconnected from school and work.
Watch Barnes - now chair of the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions - talk at the Ready by 21 National Meeting about why this is a key moment for opportunity youth initiatives (4:15 min.), why and how the Obama administration focused on opportunity youth (2:45 min.), and how the Aspen Forum will help opportunity youth efforts (2:15 min.). See news about Aspen's efforts under New & Newsworthy, below.

The Weikart Center has spent the past decade working to build quality systems nationwide through use of the Youth Program Quality Assessment and Intervention. In this free webinar, learn where we go from here and how this emerging work meets the needs of the afterschool field and broadens to other systems that serve youth.

May 2, 1 p.m. ET
Find out more here.

Do staff trainings matter to participants and make a difference for kids?
This research brief from 2005 describes the evidence of effectiveness for training that was developed and delivered by HighScope's Youth Development Group. The Youth Development Group became the Forum's Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, and that training is the basis of the services that Weikart offers today.

Read the brief.

Nominate a Youth Changemaker
The Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council has teamed with SparkAction to find the best and the brightest young people and youth councils in America. Are there superstars in your city or state that are changing government for the better? Let the Campaign know.
New Opportunity to Help Opportunity Youth
Collective impact is at the heart of a new funding initiative to reconnect "opportunity youth" - young people (ages 16 to 24) who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market. The Aspen Forum for Community Solutions recently announced the 36 communities that have been selected to apply for its new Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund. The initiative helps community collaborations connect the many systems that touch the lives of opportunity youth, and build and deepen education and employment pathways.
Three of the communities - Atlanta, Austin and New Orleans - are carrying out Ready by 21 strategies. Melody Barnes, chair of the Aspen Forum, said in a speech last month (see 17-second clip) that in communities that have worked with the Forum for Youth Investment, "there is a much more keen, a much more crystalized understanding of the importance of the collective impact approach."
America's Promise Alliance Expands Dropout Prevention Efforts
America's Promise Alliance announced last week that it will work with community partners to convene 100 Grad Nation Community Summits across the country over the next four years. The summits will bring together leaders from all sectors to examine local data, identify what's working and where there are challenges, and explore promising practices and proven solutions to support young people in and out of school. Communities will prepare plans to accelerate their work to help meet the Grad Nation goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020. Read more here.

Protecting Privacy While Sharing Data
At a time when government agencies are exploring ways to share data about the people they serve, a new federal report says such efforts can be carried out while protecting individual privacy.

The report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Sustained and Coordinated Efforts Could Facilitate Data Sharing While Protecting Privacy, finds that data-sharing among agencies enhances administrative policies and improves client services.

United Way Staff Leaders Conference
This annual conference offers days of valuable discussions and workshops, including these that feature presentations by Forum staff:
From Quality to Outcomes: Supporting Out-of-School Time System Improvement
Joe Bertoletti, field services director, David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality
From Youth Voice to Community Action: Leveraging the Gallup Student Poll
Kris Minor, senior vice president, the Forum for Youth Investment
When & Where: April 17-19, Indianapolis, Ind.
Find out more here.
Achieving Collective Impact: How Partnerships Change Community Outcomes
Here's a great opportunity for people working to create lasting, community-wide change: The Forum for Youth Investment and United Way Worldwide will present a three-day learning program designed to accelerate the work of collaborative partnerships.
Achieving Collective Impact: How Partnerships Change Community Outcomes is built around the key steps to achieving measureable outcomes, such as problem analysis, intervention design, implementation, evaluation and improvement. Participants will learn how to take a big picture approach to tackle underlying issues in their communities. See what action planning looks like when many organizations share responsibility for results.
When & Where: May 7-9, United Way Worldwide, Alexandria, Va.
Find out more here.
Youth Work Methods Training of Trainers
Want to train your afterschool staff to increase the quality of their work? The Weikart Center's Youth Work Methods Training of Trainers course teaches staff how to deliver the Youth Work Methods courses, which empower direct staff with tools to increase the quality of their instruction.
When & Where: June 12-14, Chicago, Ill.
Find out more and register (by April 26).
Reclaiming Futures: A Model for Communities Helping Teens Overcome Drugs, Alcohol and Crime
This free webinar is designed for those wanting to learn more about the Reclaiming Futures model and how the model has been adopted as a cost-effective juvenile justice reform initiative. The presenters are Susan Richardson, national executive director of Reclaiming Futures, and Margaret Soukup, project director of the Seattle-King County Reclaiming Futures.
April 30, 1 p.m. ET.
Register here.

National AfterSchool Association Annual Convention, Indianapolis, Ind., April 7-10 - Forum staff facilitated sessions on increasing youth program quality, on measuring success, and on afterschool systems and collective impact.
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