How Learning Happens Community Conveners Grantees
America’s Promise is supporting and learning from five communities from across the nation to develop community convenings to advance young people’s social, emotional, and cognitive development both in and out of school.
Through authentic convening approaches, each community is working to share knowledge of how learning happens with diverse multi-sector stakeholders, cultivate connection within each community, and inspire action on opportunities in which the community can achieve progress at scale.
Our How Learning Happens community partners include:
The Whole Child Connection at Children’s Institute, a cross-sector collaboration, will work with partners including the city’s STRIVE initiative, ROC the Future, Greater Rochester Afterschool Alliance, Healthi Kids, and the Greater Rochester Health Foundation to plan the convening and follow-up action steps. The focus will be on deepening community-building work to improve the education system, unite cross-sector partners to support whole child development with an emphasis on social and emotional learning, and improve the quality of out-of-school time programs for students ages 5 to 18.
Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA), which is housed in the Nashville Public Library and supported by the Nashville Public Library Foundation, is a nationally recognized partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools, the mayor’s office, and more than 20 other youth-serving organizations. NAZA, in partnership with a Vanderbilt research team and community stakeholders, is developing a framework that will capture outcomes at the youth level to help the broader community cultivate opportunities for young people to develop various sets of skills in out-of-school settings, with tools, support services, and professional development. The framework will be presented at the
convening, and youth, families, and youth-serving professionals will recommend pathways
for future action. The convening will focus on the conditions that need to be in place for
young people to thrive and will launch a community effort designed to foster those conditions.
The group has a 20-year history of bringing diverse stakeholder voices to decisions affecting families and students. For its 2020 Annual General Meeting, PPS-SF plans to bring together parents and caregivers, students, the San Francisco Unified School District, partners from San Francisco Community Beacons, and multicultural community organizations to share experiences and build collective understanding and shared goals around what it means to support students’ social and emotional development and build healthy and supportive school climates in which all students thrive.
The nonprofit organizations are partnering with the Boston Public Schools to align the district’s social and emotional learning (SEL) work with its Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Practices (CLSP) Framework. The Rennie Center, Transforming Education, and Boston Public Schools will focus on convening students and families to bring their voices into the conversation and drive this work forward. Goals include ensuring that social and emotional learning is equity-oriented and serves all students, building staff members’ self-awareness
about unconscious beliefs that affect attitudes toward students, and developing
a plan for school-level coaching to integrate equity-oriented SEL into
teachers’ daily practice.
Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM) coordinates the focus and work of leaders in the nonprofit, business, government and civic sectors in partnership with the County’s seven urban and rural school districts to ensure economic mobility for students, anchored in academic achievement. SAM tracks outcomes from kindergarten readiness to college completion, engaging partners to provide support to ensure student success. Using the results of “listening sessions,” where young people expressed the desire for more high-quality programs during out-of-school time, the convening will focus on building a new collaborative that can improve adolescents’ access to positive youth-development programs that support their social, emotional, and academic growth and address barriers to participating in these opportunities.
COVID-19 has drastically changed many needs within the community and with increased focus and attention to addressing the social, emotional, and academic aspects of young people’s development. As a result, each convener is working to re-envision their convening approaches to help families, schools, and youth cope and thrive in uncertain times. The following includes information about the work that they are doing and what others can apply as well.
Check out these stories from our How Learning Happens communities for ideas on how you can support youth and youth-serving adults during and beyond the current crisis. Come back for more stories throughout 2020.
Spartanburg Academic Movement (Spartanburg, S.C.)
June 16, 2020
Ironically, one of the efforts to help connect young people to each other in South Carolina during this time of social distancing began because they were doing just the opposite.
July 06, 2020
To support youth development and well-being, the Rochester-based Children’s Institute works with regional health, human service, and education providers. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization has found new ways to support those who are still supporting young people during this uncertain time.