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Ready News: January 10, 2013

Ready News
January 10, 2013

Schools Use Better Data; Youth Role in Workforce Development


Better Data Take Schools Beyond Academics
Like a lot of school superintendents, Kathy Burkhardt knows that despite her district's efforts to help struggling students, "We have been treating the symptoms, such as test scores and grade point averages, but not the causes - such as feeling hopeless about the future, not feeling engaged or not having a strong support system in place to help them reach their goals."

Today, the Erlanger-Elsmere Independent School District treats causes by using data to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing its students. That data includes findings from a special version of the Gallup Student Poll, provided to 83 school districts across Northern Kentucky as part of Ready by 21. This short story explains the poll and how the findings helped to spur the creation of afterschool services.

Youth Contribute to Workforce Development
When leaders in Gibson County, Tenn., attended a special Ready by 21 academy last year, they saw that their workforce development efforts were missing something: the voice of young people. So they created a Student Advisory Council for the county's Workforce Development Board.

The six-person council is looking at such issues as employer expectations, work ethic, post-secondary education, resource alignment, parental involvement and the role of youth leaders in "getting the word out to students" about community concerns.

The effort grew out of the Forum's Tennessee Cities Challenge. Read this local news story about how the council works and why county leaders believe young people will contribute to workforce solutions.

Sodexo Foundation Youth Grants
Sodexo Foundation is offering young people (ages 5 to 25) $500 grants for youth-led service projects that bring together youth, families, Sodexo employees and other community members to address childhood hunger. Deadline: Jan. 31. Find out more here.

The Big Read
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The Big Read supports organizations in developing community-wide programs that encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Grants from $2,500-$20,000 are available from the National Endowment for the Arts. Deadline: Feb. 5. Find out more here.

Positive Outcomes for At-Risk Children and Youth
Registration is open for the inaugural Georgetown Public Policy Institute LEAD Conference (Leadership. Evidence. Analysis. Debate.), which brings together experts and key stakeholders to examine a particular policy challenge and to discuss solutions. This year's theme is "Positive Outcomes for At-Risk Children and Youth: Improving Lives Through Practice and System Reform." The event is presented by the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University and the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.
Forum CEO Karen Pittman will moderate the Models of Progress panel, which will explore innovative community collaboration, policies and leadership that have promoted a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of at-risk children and youth.

When: Jan. 24-25, Washington, D.C.
Find out more here

March 11 - 13, 2013 - The Ready by 21 National Meeting will bring together hundreds of leaders from around the country who are working toward the same goal: Getting all young people ready by 21 for college, work and life.

The National Meeting will include a variety of session types and formats, from keynote speakers and plenary panels to small group discussions and peer learning circles. You will be able to connect with other leaders from around the country, as well as from similar professions and sectors, to strengthen your networks, apply learning and create solutions.
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