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Ready News: April 27, 2012

Ready News
April 27, 2012

News about Helping Youth: Moving Forward Together


Moving Forward Together
Leaders carrying out Ready by 21® strategies and principles around the country have a new vision for improving the odds for children and youth through collective impact.

That vision was sharpened last week at the first Ready by 21 National Meeting, where nearly 200 leaders from programs, communities and states gathered to share experiences, data and ideas. The convening in Nashville, Tenn., marked a turning point, bringing together for the first time those who have come to Ready by 21 along different paths: building collective impact partnerships, implementing quality improvement systems and strengthening government policies.
Karen Pittman, CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, shared key insights from the implementation of Ready by 21 strategies over the past several years and laid out a vision for "moving forward together." She discussed strengthened relationships with existing partners, exciting opportunities with new ones, and new products and services. Read a condensed version of Karen's keynote address (with slides).

Ready by 21 Webinar
Aligning Policies, Increasing Impact

May 29, 2012, 3 p.m. ET 

Do you ever feel like well-intentioned people around you are working hard but, to borrow a cliché, it looks like the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing?


Sometimes, the left hand even holds the right hand down. That's because policies, practices and funding streams that have been instituted over many years by many different people aren't aligned - and young people suffer. This webinar highlights concrete examples and specific policy language at the local, state and federal level. Learn how you can improve policies and align resources to maximize their positive impact on youth.


Featured Speakers: Danielle Evennou, the Forum for Youth Investment; Maria Worthen, Education Policy Advisor, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee


Register for the webinar>> 

Ready by 21 Policy Alignment Series: Align New Policies with Existing Efforts to Collaborate   


This policy brief by the Forum for Youth Investment provides real world examples of what can go wrong when policy language does not encourage new efforts to blend with existing collaboratives. The brief also includes examples of language that does promote collaboration. Over the years, policies requiring the creation of a new collaboration that focuses on a narrow topic have left many states and communities with dozens of separate, concurrent collaborations.  As one local leader put it: "I used to have to attend meetings with 17 different departments; now I have to participate in 17 different coalitions." Georgia, for example, met a federal Head Start requirement regarding early childhood issues by modifying its existing children's cabinet rather than creating a new collaborative.



Jump Start a Local Collaboration for Youth
Collaborations can help youth-serving organizations improve services and supports throughout their communities, but how do you form one? If you're in Pennsylvania, Tennessee or Virginia, you try this:

In those three states, the Local Collaboration for Youth Jump Start Project will provide technical assistance and other supports to help start broad-based, cross-cutting collaborations of youth-serving agencies in selected communities. The projects must involve at least three local affiliates of National Collaboration for Youth member organizations.

Download a Project Information Sheet to learn more. The deadline to apply is April 30.

School/Community Collaborations Can Win Recognition
Speaking of collaborations, the federal government has opened a competition to spotlight partnerships among schools, families, national service programs and community-based organizations to improve low-performing schools. The Together for Tomorrow (TFT) project judges community efforts to address attendance, behavior, course performance and college access. The project is run by the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Corporation for National and Community Service. For information, go here.

Altria a Top Corporate Citizen
A primary funder in helping communities and states carry out Ready by 21 strategies has been named one of the country's top corporate citizens.

For the second straight year, Corporate Responsibility Magazine has ranked Altria on its "100 Best Corporate Citizens List." Altria ranked 15th, up 20 spots from last year. The "100 Best Corporate Citizens List" evaluates the largest publicly-traded companies in the United States (based on the Russell 1000®) on their performance in environmental management, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and philanthropy.

Promise Neighborhoods Grants
The U.S. Department of Education has announced the latest round of Promise Neighborhoods applications, which include both planning and implementation grants. The department expects to distribute 15 planning grants worth up to $500,000 each, and five to seven implementation grants worth $4 million to $6 million each.

Notices of Intent to Apply are due June 8; applications are due July 27. Go here for the announcements and applications.

Byrne Anti-Crime Grants
The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking applications from local and tribal partners to plan, implement and enhance place-based, community-oriented strategies to address neighborhood-level crime issues as part of a neighborhood revitalization or redevelopment initiative. Applications for the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grants are due June 7. Find information here.

Driving School Improvement through a College Access and Success Agenda  
Research demonstrates that when school leaders emphasize postsecondary preparation and matriculation rather than high school graduation, dropout rates decrease and academic performance increases. The American Association of School Administrators and College Summit will host a free webinar to share lessons learned from the field and best practices for driving K-12 improvement through a college access and success agenda.
Speakers: Bryan Joffe, AASA; Dr. Keith Frome, College Summit; and Dr. Robert McCord, AASA research professor in residence  
When: April 30, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET
Register here.  

2012 United Way Worldwide Community Leaders Conference - May 2-4, Nashville, Tenn.
The biennial convening of United Way staff and volunteer leaders dedicated to professional development and network building.
  • "After the Big Meeting: Managing Collective Actions for Collective Impacts," presented by Merita Irby, chief program officer of the Forum; and Paul Evensen, president of Community Systems Group.
  • "Embracing Readiness: 20 Questions from Gallup that Spark Community Action," presented by  Kris Minor, vice president of the Forum; Ready by 21 Leadership Council Co-Chair Jean Walker, vice president of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta; and Rick Hulefeld, executive director of Children, Inc., in Covington, Ken. 
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