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Ready News: May 31, 2012

Ready News
May 31, 2012

Exploring College Success, Moving Planning to Action, Supporting Families


State Explores Policy Changes to Boost College Success
Government, business and nonprofit leaders in Tennessee are teaming up to explore policy changes that would help more young people reach and succeed in college - changes that other states could emulate.

The 16 policy recommendations unveiled this week include changing how financial aid is distributed, creating new partnerships between schools and businesses, providing more trained counselors to high schoolers and increasing access to child care for college students. The recommendations were developed as part of the Forum's Ready by 21, Credentialed by 26 initiative, which helps states strengthen their economic futures by boosting higher education access and success. Read more about the efforts in Tennessee and other states here.

REMINDER- Make Your Voice Heard in the Federal Race to the Top District Grant Competition
The Forum has been working closely with the Obama Administration to create the policies necessary for state and local collaborations to achieve collective impact. The U.S. Department of Education's draft of the new District-level Race to the Top grant competition represents a great example of how Ready by 21 concepts can be embedded into policies. For example:
  • Broader Partnerships: the competition gives priority to applicants who have forged a "coherent and sustainable partnership with public and private organizations, such as public health, after-school, and social service providers; businesses, philanthropies, civic groups, and other community-based organizations; early learning programs; and post-secondary institutions"
  • Bigger Goals: the competition seeks to augment schools' core resources by providing "additional student and family supports, such as addressing the social-emotional, behavioral, and other needs of the participating students."
The department is seeking comments on the regulations by June 8. It is important to let policymakers know what provisions you like as well as possible improvements. Go here for more information. The Forum is working with United Way Worldwide, the American Association of School Administrators and other national organizations to coordinate recommendations, reach out to our networks and provide support for communities interested in applying later this summer.

Ready by 21 Webinar

June 26, 2012, 3 p.m. ET 

A well-done action plan is more than a blueprint for workers. Leaders use these plans as calls to action, generating community excitement and rallying key players - from youth and families to business and philanthropic leaders - around the cause. We'll share a checklist on key Ready by 21 ideas and how they can be included in any action plan, whether you are just getting started or revisiting an established plan.


Register for this webinar >>    

Nashville Child and Youth Master Plan   

The Nashville Mayor's Child and Youth Master Plan is first and foremost a living document that seeks to clarify and prioritize what Nashville as a city wants to see and commit to concerning the well-being of its children and youth. It is also a call to the larger community to develop broader partnerships, set attainable goals, employ data driven decision making and engage in bolder strategies.




Coalitions Across the Country Exploring Ready by 21 
Forum Co-Founder and CEO Karen Pittman criss-crossed the nation delivering the Ready by 21 message in May. Karen spoke on how to align policies and programs to increase collective impact at convenings hosted by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, HHS' Office of Adolescent Health and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Partnership. Targeted coalitions and partnerships focused on issues such as teen pregnancy, substance abuse or students with disabilities are excited to learn strategies to strengthen their own networks and more effectively connect to others to achieve better outcomes for children and youth.

Afterschool Program Quality: The Progress and the Future

With afterschool providers and supporters all over the country working to improve quality, the head of a foundation that funds such efforts steps back for thoughtful analysis of "what we learned and the implications for the future." Woven throughout this essay by Bob Granger, president of the W.T. Grant Foundation, is an overview of how the afterschool field has evolved and the issues that confront the field today. As a grantee and partner of the Foundation, the Forum for Youth Investment's work related to afterschool is referenced throughout.

Students Profit when Investment Company Teams with Schools
How can businesses help low-income middle schoolers attain the work, life and academic skills they need to succeed? One answer lies in a partnership between Citizen Schools and Fidelity Investments, one of the world's largest providers of financial services. This case study from Corporate Voices for Working Families, a Ready by 21 National Partner, shows how that effort also increases professional development opportunities for employees. 

Kinship Families Need More Support
In this policy report, the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the increased number of children living with extended family and close friends - a practice known as kinship care. Stepping Up for Kids: What Government and Communities Should Do to Support Kinship Families, includes the latest data for states and the nation, and offers recommendations on how to support kinship families.

Kinship Care
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seeks applications for its Child Welfare/TANF Collaboration in Kinship Navigation Programs. The grants are for  
projects that will develop and implement Kinship Navigator programs to: 1. Help kinship caregivers, through information and referral systems and other means, learn about and use services to meet their needs and those of the children they are raising; and 2. Promote effective partnerships between public and private, community- and faith-based agencies to better serve the needs of kinship caregiver families.

The agency expects to give out seven awards totaling $5 million. Applications are due July 16. Go here for more information.

Promise Neighborhoods
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. Go here for more information.

Summer Learning Day
The National Summer Learning Association's Summer Learning Day 2012 will take place on June 21. Summer Learning Day is a national advocacy day that showcases local summer learning programs and highlights the importance of summer learning. Events celebrating the occasion will take place the week of June 21 and throughout the summer. The association offers a series of archived webinars, a planning toolkit and more. Find out more here.
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