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Ready Partners: January 2011

Ready Partner
January 6, 2011

It's a new year and we're kicking it off with a new e-newsletter! Ready Partners provides news, resources and engagement opportunities from across the Ready by 21 Partnership and allies.

The Forum for Youth Investment Ready Partners
Happy New Year!
With the New Year comes this new e-newsletter from the Forum for Youth Investment. It fills a need, expressed by several of you, for a way to share the great work, tools and resources of our committed Ready by 21® Partners to a wider audience of leaders around the country.
Corporate Voices and United Way Worldwide, in partnership with Workforce Strategy Center, recently released a toolkit designed to provide community leaders with resources to help them recruit, engage and develop ongoing relationships with businesses and business leaders in their communities. Supporting the Education Pipeline: A Business Engagement Toolkit for Community-Based Organizations and the companion website features tips, tools, resources and examples of techniques used to engage business. You are encouraged to upload successful business engagement documents and strategies to
the website.

Corporate Voices Releases Business Engagement Stakeholders Wheel
It can be difficult for nonprofits to identify all local businesses and business organizations in their community. Corporate Voices recently released a tool to help with this process. The Business Engagement Stakeholders Wheel lists different business organizations and business leaders who could partner, as well as information on the roles business can play to ensure all youth are ready for college, work and life.
The number of high schools where 40 percent or more of the students fail to graduate fell significantly from 2002 to 2008, according to analysis of the latest government data compiled in Building a Grad Nation, a report recently released by America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and Johns Hopkins University's Everyone Graduates Center. The report discusses the strides that have been made in the past decade in reducing the dropout rate, and showcases the practical and effective strategies that have moved the needle.

While many communities are interested in implementing Ready by 21 strategies, the economic climate makes it difficult to begin new initiatives. To kick-start such efforts, the American Association of School Administrators has awarded the Erlanger-Eslmere School District (KY) and the Bristol-Warren Regional School District (RI) with Ready by 21 Peer Workgroup Mini-grants.

The grant will support Erlanger-Elsmere's efforts to:
  • Improve student understanding of how education relates to potential employability and improve the business community's understanding of its role in educating employable students
  • Support the mentoring program, "On Track with Business," which will connect middle school students to business mentors
The grant will support Bristol-Warren's efforts to:
  • Engage business partners and school alumni in an initiative to help students develop their
    postsecondary goals
  • Support the mentoring program for Mt. Hope High School, including the engagement with iMentor to leverage technology to increase participation in mentoring programs.
The Ready by 21 National Partnership is sponsoring the Quality Improvement & Asset Building Challenge Grants (Q&A Challenge) in three southeast communities: Wicomico County, MD; Asheville, NC; and Ft. Myers, FL. Each network has recruited a wide range of youth-serving organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA/YWCA, Parks & Recreation departments and 21st CCLC programs, with the United Way also an active partner in Asheville and Fort here to read the full announcement.
Ready by 21
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.

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