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Ready News: July 12, 2012

Ready News
July 12, 2012

Making Quality a Full-Time Job


Making Quality a Full-Time Job
How one of the country's largest YMCAs is expanding efforts to improve services to kids.

Until recently, the job that Ashley Nazarak just started at the YMCA of Metro Chicago didn't exist. Then the leaders at the Y decided that improving program quality meant dedicating someone to the task full time.

So they took an unusual step: They created a position to oversee program quality improvement across the Y's sprawling system of 25 member centers, five camps and hundreds of extension sites. "We recognize that quality programs and youth outcomes go hand in hand," says Christina Krasov, vice president of performance improvement.

Read about how and why the YMCA made this significant move.

July 31, 2012, 3 p.m. 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. 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 - an unprecedented coalition of organizations representing the government, education, nonprofit, business, research and philanthropy sectors.


Register for this webinar >>    

Georgetown Divide, CA: Building a Broad Partnership to Improve Results

This is a story of a community bringing together a wide range of organizations to improve services and results for youth. Community leaders within the Georgetown Divide gathered a broad coalition to improve youth outcomes. The Ready by 21 set of strategies, tools and technical assistance guided leaders to act together and provided a framework for working more effectively to improve outcomes for all children and youth.


Learn About Federal Proposal to Help Disconnected Youth
What does a new federal proposal to align policies for disconnected youth mean for practitioners and policymakers? Some 800 leaders from around the country joined a Forum webinar to find out.

Kathy Stack of the White House Office of Management and Budget shared information about Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth - a provision in the president's  2013 budget proposal to allow selected states and communities to use money from different federal funding streams to pilot innovative approaches. Much of the webinar was dedicated to Q and A. Go here for the recording, the slides, and more information about the proposal and how you can respond to it.

Cities Lauded for Reading Campaigns
How does literacy fit into your work to improve the odds for children? Learn from the best: Fourteen communities from around the country have been recognized for developing "ambitious, collaborative plans to help more children read proficiently by the end of third grade."

Among the winners of the All-America City Grade-Level Reading Awards are two communities where leaders are carrying out Ready by 21 strategies: Louisville, Ky., and Seattle, Wash. The awards were announced by the National Civic League as part of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Read about the winners here.

What Intermediaries Do for Afterschool Programs
In this first-of-its-kind survey of intermediary organizations in the afterschool field, the Collaboration for Building After-School Systems paints a picture of the successes and challenges faced by organizations at the center of complex, cross-sector community change initiatives. With support from the Wallace Foundation, the report - Making the Connections: A Report on the First National Survey of Out-of-School Time Intermediary Organizations - describes the roles intermediaries have played in advancing the quality, coordination and availability of afterschool programs in cities across the country.

Quality Improvement Training
The David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality is offering training this summer for frontline workers and managers. The Youth Work Methods workshops, designed to empower direct staff with tools to increase the quality of their work, are available as self-paced online courses. Click here to find out more.  In addition, three capacity-building workshops will be offered in August, each covering different levels of out-of-school time quality improvement systems. Learn more here.

Measuring Success: Strategies for Effective Program Evaluation
Whether you are a manager of a small community program or a director of a city-wide initiative, this webinar will review the relevant steps of program evaluation, including planning tips, development strategies and data requirements. From needs assessments to different types of outcomes, this webinar will provide practical approaches to conducting a program evaluation.

Host: Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth
When: July 25, 1 p.m. ET
Register here.

Bridging the Achievement Gap Through Integrated School and Community Partnerships
The Communities for Change National Leadership Symposium is designed to help education, nonprofit, foundation and public sector leaders better align resources with results. Meet and share with the brightest minds in the sector and leave with concrete strategies to apply in your community. Topics include how school districts and community programs can effectively share data, assessing student needs outside the classroom, and multi-agency data management, reporting and collective impact.

Host: nFocus Solutions in partnership with Search Institute
When: Oct. 11
Where: Houston, Texas
Learn more 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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