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Ready Partners: November 3, 2011

Ready Partner
November 3, 2011

This weeks Ready Partners announces the launch of the Ready by 21 Leader Network and explores ways to involve your community in changing the outcomes for children and youth.

The Forum for Youth Investment Ready Partners
This e-newsletter from the Forum for Youth Investment shares the great work, tools and resources of our committed Ready by 21® National Partners and allies to a wider audience of leaders around the country.
Ready by 21 Leader Network Launches
Are the young people in your communities ready for college, work AND life?  Are your neighborhoods offering enough supports for kids year-round? Do the leaders in your community work together effectively toward big goals for children and youth?

If not, the Ready by 21 Leader Network can help. This new resource, based at the new Ready by 21 website, provides tools, examples and supports to help the growing network of state and local leaders who are implementing Ready by 21. Membership is free and the registration process only takes a few minutes. Ready by 21 Leaders will have exclusive access to Ready by 21 toolkits, facilitation guides, case studies and multimedia offered by the Ready by 21 National Partnership. Explore this new resource at

You're Invited to the Harwood Public Innovators Lab
Tired of business as usual in your community? Want to help create real, lasting change? Then we recommend a special Harwood Public Innovators Lab, co-sponsored by The Harwood Institute and United Way Worldwide, that is open to leaders engaged in building a community's capacity for change. The highly focused two-and-a-half day learning experience grounds participants in the essential elements of the Harwood approach, Turning Outward, and in how to use the Lab's tools and stay true to the community first approach. You will learn and practice concrete steps and ideas to make your work more meaningful and grounded in the community.

To learn more and register click here:
Communities and Business Leaders Can Support Young People Today and the Workforce of Tomorrow
Corporate Voices for Working Families has published two new resources that offer valuable guidance for local officials, employers and others teaming up to support children, youth and working families in their communities.

Opportunities in the Workforce Readiness Pipeline: A Community Engagement Toolkit for Business is designed to assist business and local leaders in developing successful, sustainable partnerships to ensure that more young people in their communities have the high-quality education and supports they need to be successful today and in the workforce we will depend on tomorrow. The toolkit reflects the expertise of United Way Worldwide and the Workforce Strategy Center, content partners in the publication.

Building the Business Case for Investing in Tomorrow's Workforce profiles private-sector commitments to support education and workforce training for lower-skilled employees, and documents the substantial payoff to companies that have done so. Case studies include CVS/Caremark, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and the Johns Hopkins Hospital system.

Read more details in the news release here.
AASA Releases College-Going Improvement Toolkit
Consistent with the American Association of School Administrators' mission of advocating for the highest quality public education for all students, the Association has released the Improving College-Going Toolkit.  Produced with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the toolkit is designed to accomplish three goals:
  • Provide school district leaders with a greater awareness and understanding of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund reporting requirements for college enrollment and persistence;
  • Provide tools and strategies for communicating these new data items to boards, teachers, families;
  • Provide some potential levers of change to positively affect the college-going and persistence rates in the future. Those levers include ensuring that school system leaders are informed, prepared, conversant and equipped to increase college-going rates.
The toolkit augments nearly a dozen day-long meetings held recently throughout the nation to address this issue. The toolkit is available here.
America's Promise Alliance Announces 2011 100 Best Communities for Young People
In recognition of the innovative and effective work being done in communities across the nation to ensure a bright future for young people, America's Promise Alliance announced the 2011 winners of its 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING competition. The competition showcases communities that create programs and services to address the high school dropout crisis and provide support to their young people. An interactive map and list of all 2011 winners can be found at

Those winners include several communities that have implemented Ready by 21 strategies, including Nashville, Ten., Louisville, Ky., Alexandria, Va., Surry County, Va., and Wicomico County, Md.

The 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING is an annual competition, now in its fifth cycle, that rewards and recognizes communities making extraordinary efforts to reduce dropout rates and provide outstanding services and supports to their youth. These communities, while not without their own challenges to overcome, have demonstrated a significant and lasting commitment to their youth for which they deserve to be recognized and commended.  Click here to learn more. 
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.