Four partnerships selected in Northfield, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and Seattle
CINCINNATI, OH — StriveTogether, a national network working to bring communities together around data to make decisions and improve results for kids, today announced more awardees for its Opportunity Fund grant program. The four grantee communities are Northfield, Minn.; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Antonio, Texas; and South Seattle/South King County, Wash.
“StriveTogether is taking bold steps to improve how systems serve youth and families,” said Jennifer Blatz, StriveTogether president and CEO. “True transformation requires breaking down and rebuilding the policies and power structures that hold back youth of color and those living in poverty. We are honored to be supporting this important work in four new communities that are committed to helping every child succeed in school and in life.”
Opportunity Fund grants extend the work of communities by focusing on deeper systems-level change. They are awarded to communities that have demonstrated progress changing systems like education, housing, health and transportation to improve opportunities for every child.
The four communities will work on:
– In Northfield, Minn., Northfield Promise will use its grant award to improve kindergarten readiness, third-grade literacy, high school graduation and postsecondary completion for Northfield youth. Efforts will include supporting children from low-income households in accessing high quality preschool; expanding local postsecondary options and supports for high school graduates; scaling successful strategies including the Move 5 Kids Initiative; and expanding family engagement efforts at elementary schools.
– In Salt Lake City, Utah, Promise Partnership of Salt Lake will use its grant award to fund strategies that support better cradle-to-career and economic mobility outcomes. Efforts will include ensuring more cross-sector involvement in the work; connecting youth and residents with legislators to share their lived experiences and inform policy; hiring youth researchers and organizers from impacted communities to identify priorities and challenges; and shifting funding to grassroots groups through youth and parent hiring.
– In San Antonio, Texas, UP Partnership will use its grant award to increase college readiness and postsecondary enrollment for Latinx and African-American students. The partnership will fund cradle-to-career strategies throughout Bexar County and the strategies of several networks including My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio and Diplomás. Efforts will include ensuring equitable access to tools that prepare students for their future; reducing disciplinary rates through policy and restorative justice practices; and co-designing a policy agenda with youth, parents and teachers.
– In South Seattle/South King County, Wash., Road Map Project partners will use the grant award to improve early learning access and postsecondary enrollment and attainment for students furthest from opportunity. Efforts include elevating a strategic leadership body of community members to identify and mobilize around local advocacy for systems change; supporting an initiative between school districts and community colleges to improve postsecondary enrollment and completion; and increasing access to early entrance kindergarten for families with limited or no access to quality early learning programs.
The communities are being awarded up to $350,000 from the Opportunity Fund per year for three years. This brings the total number of communities with an Opportunity Fund grant to 13.
The Opportunity Fund is part of StriveTogether’s Cradle to Career Community Challenge, which invests in efforts to improve equity and economic mobility for children and their families. Since launching the Community Challenge last year, StriveTogether has invested $14 million in 30 communities on projects that advance equity, improve results and spread bold strategies to help students progress from kindergarten to postsecondary completion and a job.
StriveTogether partners with nearly 70 communities across the country, providing coaching, resources and rigorous approaches to create opportunities and close gaps in education, housing and more. Together, the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network impacts the lives of more than 13 million youth — including nearly 9 million children of color — across 29 states and Washington, D.C.