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Ready News: April 12, 2012

Ready News
April 12, 2012

Leaders Promote Ready by 21, Campaign Seeks Youths' Ideas


National Council Launched to Support Ready by 21 
Leaders who implement Ready by 21® strategies in states, communities and programs around the country just got a dynamic new team to champion the cause: The Ready by 21 Leadership Council.
The Leadership Council - composed of educators, policymakers, service providers, nonprofit executives and young people selected by the Forum for Youth Investment - will urge leaders around the country to improve youth outcomes through "collective impact": working together across sectors to fundamentally change supports and opportunities for all young people from birth to career.
Learn more about who they are and how they will promote Ready by 21 strategies and principles.

Double Data Special! 

Ready by 21 Webinar

Connecting the Dots: Data Sharing in States and Communities to Better Connect Youth Services

April 24, 2012, 3 p.m. ET 
Data sharing: It's an important topic, given the myriad systems that house information about our communities. Whether you are a teacher, service provider, parent or policymaker, aligned and connected data can have a powerful impact on how you work with young people individually and how you help all youth in your community achieve their best outcomes. In this webinar, you'll learn about efforts to align community and state data, and about tools to improve your effectiveness.

Register for this webinar >>

The next day, join Public/Private Ventures and ChildTrends for a webinar: Learn How to Be a Data and Performance Management Rockstar.

Community Data Inventory Worksheet and Example      

This worksheet and accompanying example help  leaders get a fuller picture of how data are shared and disseminated in your community. It helps leaders assess how well they are collecting, warehousing and sharing data about youth outcomes, community, school and family supports, and leader efforts.

The worksheet was developed based on work with the Southeast Challenge Cities, as they identified the need to better align their data amongst their stakeholders. The example is provided to aid leaders in completing their own community data assessments.


Bon Jovi Headlines New Challenge for Youth
Youth-driven solutions, innovation, first-hand experience - that's the spirit behind the SparkOpportunity Challenge, which launches April 12. Musician and member of the White House Council for Community Solutions Jon Bon Jovi is helping to promote this exciting competition that encourages young people to share their solutions for rebuilding pathways to education and jobs.
All solutions are fair game, from entrepreneurial ideas to social change. Submit your solutions, vote for your favorites and help spread the word. Winners receive an iPad, a seed grant and mentoring to see their ideas made real in their communities. 
The Challenge was developed by SparkAction, an initiative of the Forum for Youth Investment, and the Youth Leadership Institute, in support of the White House Council for Community Solutions' work on behalf of disconnected youth. 

A Home Run for Quality Improvement
Karen Pittman, CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, 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.

The State of Pre-K Funding: Going Down
The funding trend is going the wrong way for people working on early childhood: Funding for state pre-K programs has plummeted by more than $700 per child nationwide over the past decade, keeping the quality of many states' preschools low even as enrollment has grown, says a new report from the National Institute of Early Education Research. Some states bucked the trend. See this summary of the State of Preschool 2011.

A Close Look at Third Grade Reading Initiatives
Efforts to promote reading proficiency by third grade are growing, but do they work? The Education Commission of the States examines policies to promote 3rd-grade reading proficiency, including early identification of struggling readers and intervention, as well as retention as an action of last resort. The 14-page report, Third Grade Literacy Policies: Identification, Intervention, Retention, outlines case studies in Florida and New York City, and identifies issues for policymakers to consider.

Innovative Programs in Criminal Justice
The U.S. Department of Justice has released its grant application for the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program. The Byrne program is the Justice Department's version of Promise and Choice Neighborhoods. Byrne applicants are encouraged to coordinate with existing Promise and Choice Neighborhood efforts.
Two categories of grants are available: up to six planning and implementation grants worth up to $1 million each for a 36-month project period; and up to nine enhancement grants, intended to enhance an existing community-based initiative and worth up to $600,000 for a 36-month project period. Applications are due June 7.
Learn How to Be a Data and Performance Management Rockstardatarockstar
Public/Private Ventures, ChildTrends and experienced practitioners from the Providence After School Alliance and Youth Development offer field-tested advice on how to pick the right indicators and data management system; build support among participating staff and establish accountability; figure out how to analyze and use the data; and sustain the system.

Host: Public/Private Ventures and ChildTrends 
When: April 25, 2-3 p.m. ET 
Register here.

Creating State Accountability Systems that Measure College and Career Readiness for All Students 
This webinar will examine how states' education accountability systems can be refined to more accurately measure progress toward high school graduation and college and career readiness for all students, including those pursuing alternative pathways to graduation. It will feature Colorado's performance framework that holds schools and districts accountable for factors such as academic growth and postsecondary and workforce readiness.

Host: American Youth Policy Forum 
When: April 25, 1-2 p.m. ET 
Register here.

How Social Impact Bonds Can Support Youth Interventions 
Social Impact Bonds are an innovative new financial instrument offering a way to scale evidence-based programs to improve social outcomes and save public dollars. This webinar will facilitate discussion among experts from several disciplines about the feasibility of using Social Impact Bonds to fund a bundled set of interventions to promote positive youth development outcomes and improve the odds that all children and youth will be ready for college, work and life. 

Host: The Forum for Youth Investment
When: April 26, 2-3 p.m. ET
Register here.

2012 United Way Worldwide Community Leaders Conference
The biennial convening of United Way staff and volunteer leaders dedicated to professional development and network building. Details to come.
Workshops include presentations by Forum for Youth Investment staff and Ready by 21 practitioners: Embracing Readiness - 20 Questions from Gallup that Spark Community Action; and After the Big Meeting: Managing Collective Actions for Collective Impacts.
Where: Nashville, Tenn.
When: May 2-4
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Are you doing great work in your community? Have you used the Ready by 21 Tools to achieve success? Let us know by sharing your story on the Leader Network. It could be featured on the website and this newsletter!


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