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Ready News: February 2, 2012

Ready News
February 2, 2012

News about Helping Youth: Improve Program Quality, Put Youth on Election Agenda


How YMCA's Are Boosting Program Quality
YMCAs around Seattle are strengthening the skills of their staff and the quality of their services by carrying out an evidence-based improvement model, according to a new report. Lessons for Youth Program Quality Improvement Initiatives, released last week by the Raikes Foundation, is instructive for anyone looking to scale up quality improvement efforts.

Until launching the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) in 2009-10, the YMCA of Greater Seattle had no systematic, organization-wide means of linking staff professional development and program delivery to program quality. The report chronicles the lessons and impact during the first year of this continuous quality improvement intervention within 26 teen programs.

The YPQI was developed by the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, a division of the Forum for Youth Investment. The Raikes Foundation provided support for scaling up the YPQI process at the Seattle YMCAs.

Engaging Key Stakeholders: Chattanooga Connections

February 28, 2012 3 PM ET
To really change the odds for children and youth, your community needs the involvement of its influential leaders from all sectors. That includes education, business, government, nonprofits and families. These leaders need to be committed and collaborative in ways that contribute to the overarching mission of the group. Come hear about local partnership efforts in Chattanooga, Tenn., and learn about tools from three Ready by 21 Partners: Corporate Voices for Working Families, United Way Worldwide and the American Association of School Administrators. 

Stakeholders Wheel Facilitator's Packet
This packet of materials is designed for a collaborative meeting ice breaker, town hall exercise or small group activity. The goal is to learn more about the range of stakeholders in a collaborative effort.

This Facilitator's Packet starts out with the Activity Guide, which will help in leading this exercise in a collaborative meeting. The Activity Guide is followed by the stakeholder wheel, which can be used by participants during the exercise. Finally, the packet contains a few examples of how the wheel has been used in communities. This resource is aimed at helping assess who a community is currently working with and where it can conduct outreach to improve the partnership.

<<This resource is a great companion to this month's webinar.  



Getting Child & Youth Issues on the Agenda
Anyone who wants to make young people a priority in the 2012 state, congressional and presidential elections should check out Kids 2012. This collaboration of child and youth organizations gives people new ways to combine communications, advocacy and innovative technology to influence campaign discussions. Read more about Kids 2012 here.
Governor & First Lady Co-Chair Children's Cabinet Children's Cabinet Network
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and first lady Crissy Haslam have found a new way to show commitment to changing policies and practices for young people: They're co-chairing the Governor's Children's Cabinet. "By bringing together the Children's Cabinet, Crissy and I want to share policy, coordinate, collaborate and cooperate so the future for Tennessee kids is as bright as possible," the governor said in announcing the move last week.  

The cabinet will include commissioners from the departments of Health, Education, Children's Services, Human Services, and Mental Health, as well as the director of TennCare, the state's Medicaid program. The Tennessee cabinet is part of the national Children's Cabinet Network, which is managed by the Forum for Youth Investment. See a news report about the governor's decision here.

New Blueprint for Business/Community College Partnerships
Corporate Voices for Working Families has released a new publication documenting the important ways in which business leaders and postsecondary educators can collaborate to serve their mutual goals. Business and Community College Partnerships: A Blueprint, offers practical advice, best-practice models and concrete action steps for business and college leaders who hope to start, sustain or expand successful community partnerships. Corporate Voices is a Ready by 21 National Partner.

Don't forget: Several Ready by 21 National Partners have planned invaluable gatherings for sharing experiences, data and ideas, including how to bring Ready by 21 tools and strategies to their members. We look forward to seeing you at the: 

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