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Ready News: April 4, 2013

Ready News
April 4, 2013

Bringing Precision to Community Change Work


Bringing Precision to the Passion for Community Change
As more leaders around the country take on the challenge of creating community-wide change to improve the odds for young people, it has become clear that those leaders need a new kind of assistance: ways to precisely and continually track their progress, then make adjustments.

That's why Karen Pittman, CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, stood before 300 of those leaders at the Ready by 21 National Meeting last month in Atlanta and declared, "We need to be more precise in helping you in this business of community change management."

After all, she said in her keynote speech, "You're not just getting partnerships together to share ideas, to swap some services. You are really trying to go through a repetitive set of steps: to take shape, to take aim, to really take stock of what's happening in your communities, to turn that into targeted action and to track and report progress."

Pittman outlined how a community change management process guides coalitions through those five steps. "We have all been in the passionate business of trying to change the odds for young people," she said. "But we are rapidly shifting to being in a more precise business."

Watch the segment on helping partnerships carry out community change management. (5 min.)

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.

Create a big picture, goal-oriented action plan
A well-done action plan is more than a blueprint for workers. Leaders use these plans as calls to action, generating community excitement and rallying key players - from youth and families to business and philanthropic leaders - around the cause. This Ready by 21 toolkit helps you create a formal action plan, or improve the one you have, to outline a path for improving child and youth outcomes. See the toolkit here.

High Quality Programs Boost Outcomes
A new report provides more evidence that high-quality afterschool services boost academic performance.

An evaluation of the Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers shows that students in high-quality centers had fewer disciplinary incidents, were more likely to be promoted, and improved their reading and math scores on a state standardized test. The more often that students attended these high-quality programs, the larger the effect.

The study - Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers: Year 2 Evaluation Report - was conducted by American Institutes for Research with contributions from the Forum's Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. The findings reinforce the long-held belief of the Weikart Center and its clients that quality matters.

Read the study

More on Quality to Outcomes ...
Learn more about how a high dosage of quality programming leads to positive outcomes for youth, including outcomes that predict school success. On March 26, the Weikart Center hosted an hour-long webinar where Charles Smith discussed the quality-to-outcomes model and AIR presented findings from the Texas study mentioned above.

Listen now

National AfterSchool Association Annual Convention
Join this comprehensive program of professional development opportunities, including these sessions that feature presentations by Forum staff:
Youth Program Quality Scorecard: Leading Indicators for Youth Engagement
Joe Bertoletti, director of field services, David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality
After-School Systems and Collective Impact
Nicole Yohalem, senior director of special projects, The Forum for Youth Investment
Measuring Our Success: Reflections on Choosing Outcomes, Learning to Assess Them, and Understanding Why We Must
Nicole Yohalem and Charles Smith, executive director of the David P. Weikart Center on Youth Program Quality
Boost Program Quality by Connecting to a Community-Wide System
Nicole Yohalem
High Quality STEM Programs: A Framework for Measuring Success
Charles Smith
Closing Plenary
Karen Pittman, CEO, the Forum for Youth Investment

When & Where: April 7-10, Indianapolis, Ind.
Find out more here.

Launching Attendance Awareness Month
Join this free webinar to see how to get involved in raising awareness about the importance of school attendance through Attendance Awareness Month, which is in September. Key partners in Attendance Awareness Month include America's Promise Alliance, Attendance Works, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Civic Enterprises and Points of Light Institute.

When: April 9, 1-2:15 p.m. ET
Find out more and register here.

Webinar: Plan-Do-Reflect
The Weikart Center has spent the past decade working to build quality systems nationwide through use of the Youth Program Quality Assessment and Intervention. Learn where we go from here and how emerging work meets the needs of the afterschool field and broadens to other systems serving youth.

Thursday, May 2, 1-2 p.m. ET
Find out more and register 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).

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.

2013 Excellence in Education Celebration, March 28, Covington, Ken. - Forum CEO Karen Pittman spoke at this annual event that recognizes students, educators, community and business leaders for their significant contributions toward education in Northern Kentucky. The celebration is presented by the Northern Kentucky Education Council and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Pittman highlighted the council's success in using the Ready by 21 approach to expand its membership and strengthen its partnership structure (see a case study about that work here), and congratulated the council for piloting the use of the Gallup Student Poll to generate new levels of data about the hope, engagement and well-being of young people.
ELO Network, Grand Rapids, Mich., April 2 - Charles Smith, executive director of the Weikart Center, delivered an address about "Quality and Outcomes" as they relate to expanding learning opportunities.
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