Citi Foundation and America's Promise Alliance Announce Youth Opportunity Fund Grant Recipients in 10 U.S. Cities
The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance today announced that 12 nonprofit organizations have been selected as recipients of the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $3 million initiative to support city-level, innovative and scalable programs connecting more than 3,500 youth to opportunities that increase their employability and prepare them for lifelong success.
Strong cities are built on a foundation of strong families. The National League of Cities' Council on Youth, Education, and Families developed a platform for municipal action on behalf of children, youth, and families. With NLC, America’s Promise Alliance challenged every community to take steps toward positive, significant results for children and their families. The platform encourages leaders to build on their local assets and opportunities and highlights essential "infrastructure," key functions and processes crucial to effective investments in children and families.
In 2000, the Annie E. Casey Foundation launched a multisite community change effort called Making Connections. The initiative tests the theory that children do better when their families do better, and families do better when they live in neighborhoods that provide opportunities for economic self-sufficiency and wealth; responsive, culturally relevant services; and social networks that empower residents and connect them to supports. This paper released in 2006 presents a framework that helps communities and Making Connections sites focus on learning in unconventional ways.
The Abecedarian Project was a comprehensive early education program for young children at risk for developmental delays and school failure. The program operated at a single site between 1972 and 1985, in North Carolina, and underwent numerous assessments of its long-term effects on participants. The Abecedarian Project involved two components: a preschool intervention and a school-age intervention.
In partnership with MetLife Foundation, the Afterschool Alliance released an issue brief exploring afterschool activities, parent engagement, arts enrichment, school improvement and digital learning. The brief examines just a few of the ways afterschool programs support middle school youth, families and communities.
There is no debate about the fact that family involvement in schools boosts student achievement. Families and parents can support their children's schooling by volunteering, attending school functions and participating in parent-teacher conferences. Although educators widely recognize the benefits of family involvement in schools, many are unable to effectively reach out to families. Time constraints, budgetary concerns, and other conflicts can prevent schools from engaging parents. Afterschool programs provide parents and schools the perfect venue to overcome these barriers to participation.
Zero to Three’s set of nine Age-Based Handouts provides parents of young children with easy-to-read information on common developmental issues, the developmental stages, and more. The handouts are also available in Spanish.
Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and Alignment Nashville have created a task force to develop a comprehensive parent education program in collaboration with Nashville’s non-profit community. Several organizations are already providing effective parent education programs in the community, but there is no central repository for this wealth of information. Therefore, the MNPS and Alignment Nashville have developed a Parent University model that provides a variety of workshops at no cost and is open to all MNPS families.
Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) is based on the belief that strong relationships within families can buffer against the risk of adolescent depression or suicide and help in the recovery process. ABFT is a psychotherapeutic model, with a foundation in attachment theory. Attachment theory posits that when parents are responsive and protective, children develop a healthy sense of self, trust in others, and better capacity for independence and affect regulation. Ruptures in attachment security can increase the risk for psychopathology.
The Attendance Works’ website has a number of tools and resources that can help different populations understand attendance and chronic absence issues. These tools can be used for the following: parents, teens, schools, afterschool providers, early education providers, health care providers, city leaders, and more.