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Ready News: February 9, 2012

Ready News
February 9, 2012

A Mayor Demands Commitment to Youth, Research Links to Practice and advice on State Policy.


Grand Leadership: Mayor Puts Youth First with a Ready by 21 Theme
"All children should be ready for college, work and life." Sound familiar? It does now to the citizens of Grand Rapids, Mich., after the mayor used his State of the City address last month to turn that message into a communitywide mission.

See how the leader of a city that has implemented Ready by 21 strategies used his bully pulpit to push children and youth to the top of the public agenda.This article includes links to the speech in text and video, and to the city's Youth Master Plan.

Engaging Key Stakeholders: Chattanooga Connections

Feb. 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. 

Supporting the Education Pipeline: A Business Engagement Toolkit for Community-Based Organizations
This toolkit contains the Supporting the Education Pipeline toolkit and additional resources. It was created to house background research, tools used by your peers in the field, protocols to help you implement your business engagement efforts, and case studies to illustrate the successes and lessons learned by others in the field. The website is organized according to the four business engagement strategies - identify, educate, persuade, activate.

The toolkit includes case studies, reports, examples and samples of tools & protocols containing questions that will help guide you as you build your business outreach strategy.

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


Practical Ways to Connect Research to Practice
Researchers and service providers struggle to heed the call for "evidence-based" practices and policies in education and in youth development. The Forum for Youth Investment and the William T. Grant Foundation are helping the research community develop a better sense of the realities that practitioners and policymakers face, with the goal of understanding how and under what conditions research can influence policies and practices that affect youth.

On Feb. 1-2, the Forum and the Foundation convened 50 researchers and policymakers to discuss these challenges and to learn about emerging findings on the use of evidence in policy and practice.

The Power of State Policies for Children
Advocates seeking to change state policies on behalf of children got some help last month at a gathering in a Senate office building in Washington: First Focus and the Foundation for Child Development hosted a panel of experts who explained the factors influencing state decisions on children, and how prioritizing child well-being at the state level can improve child outcomes nationwide.

Those who couldn't make it can see coverage of the event, as well as links to documents, slides and photos, at SparkAction.
How a Children's Cabinet Can Campaign for Kids
While state Children's Cabinets often work behind the scenes on low-key items like agency regulations and budget lines, they can also use their clout to rally the public around child and youth issues. Witness Florida: Last week the state's Children and Youth Cabinet held a news conference to tell state residents how they can recognize and fight human trafficking, particularly the forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation of children. See a summary of the event.

Find out more about children's cabinets and the Children's Cabinet Network, which the Forum for Youth Investment manages.

What Can Nonprofits Do in Elections?
For those wondering what a nonprofit can and cannot legally do when it comes to electoral advocacy, SparkAction and several partners hosted a free webinar on Nonprofit Advocacy Dos and Don'ts in an Election Year.

Webinar: Advancing Collective Impact
Jeff Kutash and Emily Gorin of FSG, the nonprofit strategy consulting and research firm, will explore how municipal leaders, staff and partners can use the compelling Collective Impact framework for children and youth initiatives. FSG proposes Collective Impact as a way for a group of cross-sector actors to maximize their results by better coordinating and aligning their efforts to address a complex social problem. 

The webinar, sponsored by the National League of Cities, is Feb. 15 at 2:30 p.m. ET. Find out more and register here. (Account creation required.)
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