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Ready News: July 24, 2014

Ready News
July 24, 2014

Why Youth Service Leaders Embrace and Fear Collective Impact Efforts


Collaboration Conundrum: Why Youth Service Leaders Embrace and Fear Collective Impact Efforts

Community leaders and organizations want to collaborate -  so why is the work so difficult and how do we do it well? This was the overarching theme in a conversation among leaders in Milwaukee who are coming together to improve the quality and coordination of youth programs in their city. 

In her latest blog, Forum for Youth Investment CEO Karen Pittman reflects on this "lunch and learn" gathering and how communities can rise up to meet the challenges that collaboration brings.

 News & Resources

Program Quality

Finding the Path to Success for Future Generations
How could we know as much as we do, spend as much as we do, care as much as we say we do and accomplish so little for so many kids over so long a period of time?" 

That's one of the many stimulating questions posed by Ralph Smith at this year's third annual Ready by 21 National Meeting. Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, asked the crowd of 300 leaders if they were ready to take the difficult but necessary steps toward focusing on practices with evidence of impact, and jettisoning cherished approaches that don't work. This, he said, will help us meet a necessary condition for success: fully believing in the work that we are doing. See the full keynote here.

For ways to more effectively measure program quality, check out our most popular resource, From Soft Skills to Hard Data.


Youth Development

Creative Youth Development Catches Fire
Creative Youth Development programs - which encompass those working in arts-, humanities-, and science-based youth development with an emphasis on creative inquiry and expression - are a dynamic part of community arts education, says this recent story by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Read more about CYD, including Forum co-founder Merita Irby's observations about how it fits into collective impact efforts.  

And see the new section about creative youth development on the Guild's website.

Youth Engagement

Connecting Young People - The App
How can a community connect with youth in a way that matters to them? There's an app for that. 

It was developed in Fargo, N.D., where the Forum has been working with a collaboration of community leaders and funders who are exploring new ways to improve the lives of young people. That collaboration, Venture Youth Alliance, just released a mobile app - Godōō - that allows users to find things to do based on their location or their mood. The app taps into a database of programs, activities and services throughout Fargo - including, for example, food, afterschool programs, parks and sports leagues. 

Godōō is just one of the ways that the alliance has involved young people in creating solutions that address their concerns. While the app was built for Fargo, the idea can work anywhere. Find out more.



2014 Data Released on Child Well-Being
The 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book - the 25th edition of Casey's annual report bringing attention to the well-being of America's children - is now available. The Data Book examines how U.S. kids have fared since 1990, finding gains in child health, safety and education. It raises concerns about the development of children in low-income families and high-poverty communities. 

Looking at the latest data, the report ranks states according to 16 key indicators in the areas of economic well-being, health, education, and family and community. Massachusetts, Vermont and Iowa rank at the top for overall child well-being, while Nevada, New Mexico and Mississippi are at the bottom.



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