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Ready News: August 7, 2014

Ready News
August 7, 2014

How Do We Get Youth Ready?



How Do We Get Youth Ready? Leaders answer questions from the field.

When three leading thinkers in the youth field recently sat together to discuss youth readiness, the 200-plus people who listened by phone Tweeted more questions than time allowed to answer. So a promise went out: We'll get back to you on that.   

Since then, Karen Pittman, CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, and Sean Slade, director of Whole Child Programs at ASCD, have pondered those questions. They include: Are there tools to measure life skills? Are we asking too much from teachers in instilling these skills? How can government polices help the drive toward readiness?    

See their answers here, where you'll also find a link to the recorded conversation and a blog summary.

 News & Resources

Community Engagement 

Bringing the Community into the Fold
Whenever local leaders launch a collective impact initiative for young people, one of the biggest challenges is getting community input.  New Orleans is showing one way to meet that challenge.

A coalition of community organizations has been working with the Forum for Youth Investment to assess local conditions and supports for youth, develop goals and align stakeholders to reach those goals. One of the first steps was a survey, facilitated by the Forum, to assess which organizations are best positioned to provide backbone supports for the initiative, called YouthShift.

The leaders behind YouthShift drafted a blueprint for collective action. To make this a true citywide effort, they invited citizens to comment on the blueprint, through this Community Outreach Survey. The results will be available this fall. Stay tuned as we continue to track the progress of this ambitious collective impact venture.  



Exploring Funder and Field Leader Views
A new report gives insight into the priorities of grantmakers that support afterschool or other expanded learning efforts. One of the more interesting findings is that "improved academic achievement" and "increased student engagement" are top goals for funding. 

The report, Grantmakers and Thought Leaders on Out-of-School Time: Survey & Interview Report, was issued by Grantmakers for Education's Out-of-School Time Funder Network and funded by the Wallace, the Charles Stewart Mott, and the David and Lucile Packard foundations.


Collective Impact

Achieving Collective Impact: How Partnerships Change Community Outcomes
The Forum for Youth Investment and FSG are teaming up to help communities effectively carry out collective impact strategies. Join this three-day institute to learn how to create the five conditions for successful collective impact approaches through clear, sequenced steps: from partnership creation, community engagement, goal-setting and problem analysis to intervention design, implementation, evaluation and improvement. Participants will learn how to take a Big Picture Approach to tackle a range of issues in their communities, focusing on how to apply the nuts and bolts of collective impact strategies back home. 

Just announced: United Way staff can use Flex Credits to attend this institute.

Sept. 16-18, St. Louis, Mo.
Find out more.




Using Data about Youth to Drive Action
Like most communities, yours probably can't answer questions about how students feel: Who would they turn to in times of trouble? Do they have enough energy to get through the day? Do they feel safe? Where do they see themselves in five years? 

You can fill those gaps. The Forum for Youth Investment and its Ready by 21 partners are recruiting communities from around the country to join the third Ready Youth Learning Cohort, which is designed to use data from the Gallup Student Poll to ignite conversations that drive actions. 

Learn more about the Ready Youth Learning Cohort, including how to join an introductory webinar (on Thursday, Aug. 14, at 3 p.m. ET or Tuesday, Aug. 19, at 2 p.m. ET) and how to apply.  



 Connect With Us

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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