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Ready News: August 9, 2012

Ready News
August 9, 2012

Serving Immigrant Youth, Policies for Disconnected Youth, Collective Impact for Communities


Getting Immigrant Youth Ready 
When people flee wars in Liberia and Sudan or escape poverty in Togo and the Philippines, they often land in Clarkston, Ga. - a city outside Atlanta, where some estimates say refugees account for half the 7,500 residents.  So while many communities face the challenge of helping immigrant youth succeed, few places face it more than Clarkston.

Community leaders just launched an initiative to meet that challenge by creating a web of services and supports for young people from foreign lands, using Ready by 21 strategies to help develop their plan. Read a short story about this collaborative work.

Achieving Collective Impact: How Partnerships Change Community Outcomes

September 11-13, 2012 

People working to create lasting, community-wide change have a new opportunity for learning the best strategies: The Forum for Youth Investment and United Way Worldwide are presenting a three-day institute designed to accelerate the work of collaborative partnerships.

Achieving Collective Impact: How Partnerships Change Community Outcomes is built around the 10 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. 

The institute will be held at United Way Worldwide in Alexandria, Va. Find out more and register here

Building A Broad Stakeholders Group Action Brief 
This brief lays out guiding principles for stakeholder engagement. It highlights who to involve and how to meaningfully engage stakeholders in efforts to improve the odds for children and youth.

This brief provides an overview of four guiding principles to stakeholder engagement: be intentional about who to involve; be specific about what you ask the group to get involved in; think about how and how much you want people involved; and think about when you need the group to be engaged.


Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth
The federal government can help improve outcomes for disconnected youth by looking at innovative policies and practices being carried out by state and local governments around the country.

That's the advice the Forum for Youth Investment gave the U.S. Department of Education as it sought input about effective practices and strategies to improve outcomes for disconnected youth. The department's Request for Information also asked about legislative and regulatory barriers that inhibit states and localities from serving this population as well as they could.

The Forum's response, delivered on behalf of the Children's Cabinet Network, cites examples from around the country, particularly four states - Colorado, Florida, Iowa and Nevada - that the Forum has worked with to identify policy barriers and to develop performance pilots to serve disconnected youth. Those states have blended funds from different sources while streamlining application and intake processes, and have streamlined reporting requirements across funding sources. Read about their work and more in the Forum's response to the RIF.

Investing in Health to Enhance Readiness
School and community leaders know that student health affects academic performance - but how can they address both issues collaboratively? Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), has some ideas.

In this blog for Education Week, Domenech explains how and why school leaders must "recognize the link between healthy students and successful learning," and invest in programs and policies to help get all youth "ready for college, work and life." The AASA is a signature partner of Ready by 21, and the blog includes a link to the association's Ready by 21 work.

Social Impact Bonds for Youth
Here's a new way to show real commitment to troubled youth: New York City announced last week that Goldman Sachs is providing a $9.6 million loan for a new four-year program to reduce the rate at which teen boys incarcerated at Rikers Island reoffend. The twist: The loan is in the form of a social impact bond that will be repaid only if the program reduces recidivism by more than 10 percent. Read the summary by Reclaiming Futures.
Learn more from the Forum about the potential benefit of social impact bonds:
Parents as Advocates
What does it mean to include parents in your collaborative work to get all young people ready by 21? Among other roles, can parents band together to be effective advocates, even providing a counterweight to well-established interest groups?

The American Enterprise Institute explores that question and more in a report, Parent Power: Grass-Roots Activism and K-12 Education Reform. Researchers draw on field research and disciplinary insights to capture lessons from parent activism efforts, looking at where those efforts succeed, where they struggle and what types of parents are most likely to become advocates.

Afterschool Funding in Tough Times
If getting funding for afterschool programs seems to be getting more difficult, the Wallace Foundations understands. It commissioned this working paper, Tough Times, Tough Choices in Afterschool Funding, which looks at ways to work with cities to get funding and how to set priorities to maintain high-quality programs.

Healthy Communities for a Healthy Future
The National League of Cities (NLC) hosts this webinar to introduce its project to help local elected officials address the policy and environmental factors that impact childhood obesity.  As part of this project, NLC is leading efforts to enhance the work of Let's Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties, a key component of first lady Michelle Obama's comprehensive Let's Move! initiative.
When: Aug. 15, 2 p.m. ET
Find out more here.

Strengthening Citywide After-School Opportunities: New Insights, New Tools
The Forum for Youth Investment is partnering with the Wallace Foundation, the National League of Cities and Collaborative for Building After-School Systems to host a free, three-part webinar series to share a new suite of tools commissioned by the foundation.

In the first webinar, participants will learn about the importance of intermediaries in Out-of-School Time (OST) systems, and what makes intermediaries effective. It will feature findings from and reactions to the first national survey of OST intermediaries and will offer advice to cities on how to be most effective. The next two sessions in the series will run in September and October.

When: Aug. 16, 1 p.m. ET
Learn  about all three sessions here.

Wanted: Young Heroes
GenerationOn and Hasbro challenge young people to be heroes in their communities through Action Heroes Needed. Through Aug. 20, youth can act together or on their own to pick a cause, choose a project (or create their own), and report on it for a chance to be selected for a $500 mini-grant.

For more information go to

Leading the Leaders: What It Takes to Build an Overarching Leadership Council
With various people and organizations playing unique roles in your community - focusing on particular issues, populations and geographic areas - someone needs to keep an eye on the big picture, connect the work of those groups and make sure there are no gaps. That's why every successful Ready by 21 state or community has an overarching leadership council.

In this webinar, you'll hear from a community and state that recently established a council and we'll explore best practices in forming and sustaining your leadership council using a hands-on self-assessment tool.

Host: The Forum for Youth Investment
When: Aug. 28, 3 p.m. ET
Register here.

Training of Trainers to Improve Program Quality
Want to learn how to train your afterschool staff to increase the quality of their work? The David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality is offering two sessions of its Youth Work Methods Training of Trainers course. These sessions teach staff how to deliver the Youth Work Methods courses, which empower direct-service staff with tools to increase the quality of their instruction. Registration deadlines are approaching fast.

Where: Denver, Colo., Oct 3-5; Richmond, Va., Oct. 24-6.
Find out more here.

National Neighborhood Revitalization Conference - Aug. 2, Washington, D.C.
People looking for ways to collaborate in order to help all young people in their communities found answers at this conference hosted by the United Neighborhood Centers of America. Forum Vice President Kris Minor and Dr. N. Jean Walker - vice president of education at the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta and co-chair of the Ready by 21 Leadership Council - presented a workshop about "Insulating the Education Pipeline to Change the Odds for Youth - the Ready by 21 Approach." Walker talked in particular about the impact of implementing Ready by 21 strategies in Atlanta.
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