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Ready News: May 10, 2012

Ready News
May 10, 2012

Import an SEL Program, Train OST Staff, Identify Local Partnerships


Ready Snaps: Leaders Give Kids New WINGS
Kids in one of Atlanta's neediest neighborhoods are getting robust afterschool programs because two executives met more than 500 miles from home - and a group of leaders turned that chance meeting into action.

One of those executives runs WINGS, an afterschool program looking to expand beyond its home base of Charleston, S.C. The other co-chairs Atlanta's Ready by 21 Leadership Council, which is working to improve youth services in high-need neighborhoods. Now WINGS is coming to 200 youths in one of those neighborhoods. This short story shows how a strong leadership group can make changes happen quickly.

Should Out-of-School Time Staff Be Trained Like Teachers?

May 14, 3 p.m. ET 
Providing high-quality, cost-effective professional development can be a challenge for out-of-school time (OST) programs, because many of them face limited funding and their staff members tend to be young, part-time workers who rarely commit to the job for long. Debate is stirring over what core competencies these workers should possess. How can OST programs provide professional development that increases staff effectiveness while maintaining their distinctiveness from the traditional teacher? Join two OST experts as they discuss the latest ideas on professional development.  

Presenters: Charles Smith, executive director, David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, and vice president for research, Forum for Youth Investment; Nancy Peter, director, Out-of-School Time Resource Center, Philadelphia.  
Host: Education Week
Register here

Continuous Quality Improvement
in Afterschool Settings: Impact Findings from the Youth Program Quality Intervention

Looking for a systematic way to improve afterschool program quality? This study, Continuous Quality Improvement in Afterschool Settings: Impact Findings from the Youth Program Quality Intervention, shows how a cycle of assessing staff practices, planning based on the assessment and targeted training improves the quality of services delivered to young people. It finds that the Youth Program Quality Intervention model increases program quality among a wide range of afterschool systems, is sustainable and cost-effective, and might boost staff retention.  

Help Identify Youth Development Partnerships in Communities
The Forum for Youth Investment and the National Collaboration for Youth (a Ready by 21 National Partner) are seeking to identify which types of youth development partnerships are active in communities across the country - and you can help. Please complete this five- to 10-minute survey by May 15. (Research is not required; just share what you know.) The results will inform the development of new resources for community partnerships. 

Join the SparkOpportunity Challenge
Want to know what's on young people's minds? Check out the ideas that have been submitted to the SparkAction Opportunity Challenge. And if you've got an idea to create jobs or improve the education pipeline, speak up!

This crowd-sourced campaign by SparkAction (a division of the Forum for Youth Investment) seeks new solutions for reconnecting youth and for strengthening our education and workforce. Submit your entry today; voting begins on May 15. Winners will receive an iPad, a startup grant and support to pilot their ideas. For more information, check out Jon Bon Jovi's video on the Challenge, or contact Tara James.

Find Resources through the American Youth Policy Forum
The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) - a longtime source of unbiased information on policy, practice and research to improve the lives of young people - has turned its website into a more powerful tool for accessing information to help you do your work. The new site offers a dynamic search of AYPF's materials, videos and recordings of AYPF forums and webinars, and easy registration for AYPF events. See the changes at

Innovations to Align Systems for Young Children
A new set of case studies from the National League of Cities (NLC) highlights a growing strategy for getting young children ready for educational success: aligning early care and education programs with K-12 education systems.

The series, Educational Alignment for Young Children: Profiles of Local Innovation identifies five cities on the leading edge of efforts to create a seamless educational pipeline for children ages 0-8. Innovative strategies in Boston, Hartford, San Antonio, San José and Seattle are aligning school and out-of-school providers, and expanding data-sharing across systems.

Engaging Families in Expanded Learning Opportunities
Out-of-school time (OST) providers are eager to engage families to support children's learning and development, especially through Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO). Families and Expanded Learning Opportunities: Working Together to Support Children's Learning, from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Harvard Family Research Project, explores how families and OST providers can "work as equal partners in order to ensure ELOs are contributing to children's learning in meaningful ways."

Do Housing Regulations Affect Educational Achievement?
Looking to close the educational achievement gap between rich and poor students? Consider changing your community's zoning regulations.

That's one argument proffered in a new report from Brookings, Housing Costs, Zoning, and Access to High-Scoring Schools. The report looks at housing market regulations "that prohibit all but the very affluent from enrolling their children in high-scoring public schools." Regardless of the likelihood of making any particular policy change, the report uses data to show how different systems within a community can work together in order to help children and youth.

Ready by 21 Webinar
Aligning Policies, Increasing Impact

May 29, 2012, 3 p.m. ET  

Do you ever feel like well-intentioned people around you are working hard but it looks like the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing?

Sometimes, the left hand even holds the right hand down. That's because policies, practices and funding streams that have been instituted over many years by many different people aren't aligned - and young people suffer. This webinar highlights concrete examples of successful policy alignment and specific policy language at the local, state and federal levels. Learn how you can improve policies and align resources to maximize their positive impact on youth.

Featured Speakers: Danielle Evennou, The Forum for Youth Investment; Maria Worthen, Education Policy Advisor to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Register for this webinar >>   

NCLB Waivers Explained
This overview webinar of the waiver requirements for the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law will analyze the content of the first 11 approved applications and look at the implications of waivers for students. It will outline state activity in the areas of accountability, teacher evaluation and the implementation of the college- and career-ready standards, with a focus on the possible repercussions for students of color, students with disabilities and low-income students. 

Host: The Education Trust and the National Center for Learning Disabilities

When: May 11, 10 a.m. ET 

Register here.   

Summer Learning Day Nears 

Summer Learning Day is June 21. Events will take place that week and throughout the summer to showcase local summer learning programs and highlight the importance of summer learning. The National Summer Learning Association offers a series of archived webinars, a planning toolkit and more. Find out more here.

Promise Neighborhoods Grants
The U.S. Department of Education has announced the latest round of Promise Neighborhoods applications, which include both planning and implementation grants. The department expects to distribute 15 planning grants worth up to $500,000 each, and five to seven implementation grants worth $4 million to $6 million each.

Notices of Intent to Apply are due June 8; applications are due July 27. The Promise Neighborhoods team will host webinars on May 15 and June 12 for entities interested in submitting a planning application. Go here for details.  

CVS Grants 

The CVS Caremark Community Grants Program focuses on "inclusive programs and programs for children with disabilities under age 21; academic and enrichment programs at public schools; and programs that provide access to quality health care services and health education for at-risk and underserved populations of all ages." Grants ($5,000 maximum) go to organizations that have a CVS in the area. Applications are accepted through October 31. Go here for details. 

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