Several members of the Jacksonville Education Partners team working together on afterschool and summer learning systems-building headed to Baltimore last week to meet with the Wallace Foundation and a few hundred youth advocates and practitioners from around the country. The partners include the Jacksonville Children’s Commission, Duval County Public Schools, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, the City of Jacksonville and Mayor Lenny Curry’s office and the United Way of Northeast Florida.
We networked with peer cities and learned more about the science and art of youth readiness. Karen Pittman, co-founder of Ready by 21, a national “action tank” providing research, advocacy and tools to improve youth outcomes, has a special talent for coining phrases to focus our attention on what really matters. Her mantra since 2001 has been, “problem free is not the same as fully prepared,” and has led to reforms across the country that are shifting policies and practices away from punitive, deficit-based treatment of at risk kids, to asset building approaches that build kids up. The new phraseology is “readiness” defined as “the combination of being willing and prepared to take on life’s challenges and opportunities.”
The Ready by 21 folks want us to to realize that much of what we have been putting in place to improve youth outcomes is missing the stuff that gives young people the abilities, skill sets, and mindsets they need to manage the opportunities and challenges in their lives. In a new research compendium three years in the making, “Ready by Design” provides both the evidence and tools for policymakers and practitioners to improve youth well-being through four interrelated components:
• Readiness abilities, skill sets and mindsets
• Readiness Practice
• Readiness Traps
• Readiness Gaps
Read more about it and look for updates on Jacksonville’s efforts to build a readiness and equity-focused citywide system for afterschool and summer learning. Our plan will be released this summer!
https://www.selpractices.org Preparing to Thrive - Download the Field Guide