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Ready News: January 12, 2012

Ready News
January 12, 2012

The edition of Ready News talks about Helping Youth, Post-Secondary Success, Expanding Learning and Youth Jobs


Leaders Converge to Boost Post-Secondary Success
Leaders in Florida got together like never before this week to find new ways to tackle a common problem for young people. 
Higher education leaders, state agency directors, students and legislators convened in Tallahassee Monday for a roundtable discussion about how to help more young people get to college and succeed. Many had never worked together before - but they left as partners in pursuing new policies to boost post-secondary success.

What Do You Want To Take Stock Of? Exploring the Gallup Student Poll
January 17, 2012, 3 PM ET  
Better data helps leaders use their resources more efficiently and effectively. In this webinar, we'll learn about understanding youth outcomes through the Gallup Student Poll, a measure that tracks the hope, engagement and well-being of students in grades 5 through 12. Polly Lusk Page of the Northern Kentucky Education Council will highlight their recent survey findings and will share what they mean for the Northern Kentucky region.


Northern Kentucky: Building a Leadership Council

This story shows how community leaders built an overarching leadership council to coordinate and improve youth services. Those leaders used Ready by 21 Strategies to expand the council's scope to include organizations and agencies covering the full range of youth supports, and to get them working toward the same goals. Read the entire case study. 

<<This case study also demonstrates how a community used the Gallup Student Poll.

Federal Guidelines Will Affect Expanded Learning Time
How will new federal guidelines affect expanded learning efforts and afterschool programs? Experts tackled that question in a recent webinar about Waiver 11 - a special flexibility option that was included in the U.S. Department of Education's new set of waivers for the No Child Left Behind law. The waiver gives educators more spending flexibility in exchange for clear and rigorous plans to improve educational outcomes. Some leaders wonder if quality afterschool programming will be sacrificed in the name of a slightly longer school day.

More than 200 participants - including youth service providers, advocates, and state, local and federal policy staffers - joined the webinar to get a better understanding of what the waiver means for their work. Superintendent Mary Ronan of Cincinnati Public Schools shared the story of Fifth Quarter, a successful out-of-school time program. Journalist Michele McNeil of Education Week detailed the waiver's potential pitfalls. Nicole Yohalem of the Forum for Youth Investment provided examples of quality programs that expand learning time. Bottom line: No matter what waiver option states choose, quality must be at the forefront.

Will Expanded Learning Time = Better Outcomes? was hosted by the Forum for Youth Investment in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators and United Way Worldwide. You can watch it now and access all related materials.

America's Promise Report: Jobless Youth want Opportunities
Those working with disconnected youth should gain some insights from a new survey and research report released last week by America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and Peter D. Hart Research Associates.

The report, Opportunity Road, shows that 73 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in school, are not employed and do not have a college degree are confident and hopeful that they will be able to achieve their goals in life. The survey sought to better understand how these youth became detached from school and work, and the challenges they face in trying to reconnect to society. The report discusses the benefits to the nation of re-engaging these young people and how to get them back on track.

The findings were unveiled as part of a White House summit where panelists made the case for summer jobs to connect low-income and disconnected youth to employment opportunities.
See more details about the summit below.

The Forum for Youth Investment, Jobs for the Future, and YouthBuild USA were part of the report's practitioner advisory committee.

Helping Young Americans Find Jobs
As young people across the country face record unemployment, President Obama last week announced a new initiative, Summer Jobs+, to provide pathways for youth employment.  The initiative brings together businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to create 250,000 employment opportunities by the start of this summer.   

The initiative was announced at the White House Summer Jobs Plus Summit. Corporate Voices for Working Families and America's Promise Alliance, which are Ready by 21 National Partners, participated in a panel discussion exploring the moral imperative, economic need and potential value of connecting low-income youth to employment opportunities.  

Readers can see write-ups about the initiative and the summit by Corporative Voices and by the White House. America's Promise released a report at the summit; read about that above.

Seeking America's Best Intergenerational Communities
Generations United is looking for communities that honor every generation and ensure - through policies, programs and services - that they acknowledge and serve all ages. The nonprofit, along with the MetLife Foundation, will honor the five best through their "Best Intergenerational Communities" awards.

The deadline is Jan. 31. For more information, contact Leah Bradley at Generations United.
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