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Ready News: January 19, 2012

Ready News
January 24, 2012
 

This Ready News includes changing policies that can boost student health and a new report on aligning policy to improve child and youth outcomes.

 
 

Changing Policies Can Boost Student Health - and Success

While boosting college access and success can seem complicated and expensive, officials in one state have found that some solutions are relatively simple: like, help students eat better.

 

Expanding access to government-funded food programs appears to be on the fast track after Maryland leaders gathered last week to discuss that and other policy recommendations for helping more young people get to college and succeed.

 

Introduction to the Ready by 21 Strategies
January 31, 2012 3 PM ET
Ready by 21 is a set of innovative strategies developed by the Forum for Youth Investment that helps communities improve the odds that all children and youth will be ready for college, work and life. Ready by 21 provides clear standards to achieve collective impact, tools and solutions to help leaders make progress, and ways to measure and track success along the way. This webinar will guide participants through the essential components of Ready by 21 - the rationale behind Ready by 21, tools and services available to communities and leaders, and the Ready by 21 National Partnership.


Change Horsepower Diagnostic
 
This worksheet will help you think through your community's efforts using the Ready by 21 Building Blocks of Effective Change. This will give you a sense of where you are doing well and where you can build your capacity to achieve collective impact.

The worksheet introduces you to the standards we believe every community and state should hold themselves to if they are serious about getting the highest return on their investments. Rate how important you feel each of the items are and how well you think you are currently doing in each.   

 

 
 

How to Align Policies for Young People
It can't hurt to make a plan, right? The Forum for Youth Investment contends that New Policies Should Align With Existing Goals and Plans for Children and Youth. In Strategy 2 of its Ready by 21 Policy Alignment Series, the Forum describes how time-strapped staff can spend limited resources generating new plans for the youth in their states and communities, even when effective plans already exist. Learn how policy language can exacerbate this problem and how policies can be used to promote alignment.

Measuring Afterschool Outcomes
For a youth-serving program, few decisions carry as much impact as choosing the right tool to measure outcomes. And few decisions are more difficult.

Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom of the Forum for Youth Investment discusses that task in a recent interview with the National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth. The interview builds on a report (which she co-authored), From Soft Skills to Hard Data, that reviews eight outcome-measurement tools that can be used to evaluate afterschool programs and other settings.

White House Summer Jobs Launch: A View from the Inside
If you weren't at the recent launch of Summer Jobs+ - the Obama administration initiative to boost employment this summer for low-income and disconnected youth - here's the next best thing: Forum Vice President Thaddeus Ferber saw the launch unfold from the inside, and produced this blog that summarizes the initiative and walks you through the day hour-by-hour via an interactive "tic-tock."


National Partners Plan Conferences
Spring conference season is quickly approaching, and many 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:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last week announced that about $110 million is available for the fiscal 2012 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants. Eligible applicants are public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofits, tribal entities and for-profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity. Applications must present a plan to revitalize a severely distressed public and/or HUD-assisted multifamily housing project located in a distressed neighborhood into a viable, mixed-income community. Applications are due April 10. The announcement and related information are here.
 
 
       
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Are you doing great work in your community? Have you used the Ready by 21 Tools to achieve success? Let us know by sharing your story on the Leader Network. It could be featured on the website and this newsletter!
 

 

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