Cincinnati, OH, April 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — StriveTogether, a national nonprofit working to improve education for every child, today announced six communities will participate in the StriveTogether Prenatal to Age 3 Impact and Improvement Network. Launched in partnership with the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ), this special initiative will improve kindergarten readiness by focusing on child development from birth to age 3. The communities are Albuquerque, New Mexico (Mission: Graduate); Memphis, Tenn. (Seeding Success); Norwalk, Conn. (Norwalk Acts); Salt Lake City, Utah (Promise Partnerships of Salt Lake); Spartanburg County, S.C. (Spartanburg Academic Movement); and Tucson, Ariz. (Cradle to Career Partnership).
“The first few years of a child’s life are critical in determining future success,” StriveTogether CEO and President Jennifer Blatz said. “It’s our obligation as Americans to provide every child with opportunity through a quality education, but each year an estimated 3 million children in the U.S. are at risk of being woefully unprepared for kindergarten. By partnering with NICHQ, we will help to drive policies and investments in core services proven to improve educational, economic, health and social outcomes for children and families.”
The StriveTogether Prenatal to Age 3 Impact and Improvement Network will increase the number of children meeting critical early milestones by promoting targeted, evidence-based strategies and building the capacity of local leaders and practitioners. Over 16 months, this network will help the six communities improve kindergarten readiness and accelerate progress for local students through an approach that combines leadership development, continuous improvement tools, peer-to-peer learning, design thinking and data use training.
Kindergarten readiness is one of the seven key educational outcomes tracked by StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network communities. In each community, a coalition of local partners — including educators, policymakers, businesses, philanthropists and more — work to improve outcomes along the cradle-to-career continuum, from infancy to adulthood. StriveTogether helps communities to build stronger cradle-to-career partnerships through continuous improvement and collective impact.
“Improving the health and development of infants and toddlers has long-term benefits for children, families and our society. It also sets the stage for the way kids learn throughout their lives,” said Dr. Jill Sells, clinical director of Early Childhood Initiatives at NICHQ and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “We are thrilled to partner with StriveTogether and these six communities, whose focus on this age group makes them pioneers in testing strategies for kindergarten readiness.”
The Prenatal to Age 3 Impact and Improvement Network is part of an effort with three other organizations — the National Association of Counties, National League of Cities and the Center for the Study of Social Policy — to improve the lives of infants, toddlers and families. The partner organizations will equip communities with tools and resources to build strong early childhood systems and share best practices with other cities, counties and states. This critical work is being funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, a project of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation.
This is StriveTogether’s third national Impact and Improvement Network. These networks help participating communities accelerate their work and improve outcomes in targeted areas. StriveTogether’s Postsecondary Enrollment Impact and Improvement Network boosted completions for federal student aid applications through a data-driven, collaborative model derived from the health care field. Participants supported nearly 31,000 students to complete applications in 2015-16. Five of the six communities increased their yearly completion rates at the school level, four increased district-level completions and three tallied school-level gains of 10 percent or more.
StriveTogether leads a national movement of nearly 70 communities to get better results in every child’s life. We coach and connect partners across the country to close gaps by using local data, especially for children of color and low-income children. Communities using our proven approach have seen measurable gains in kindergarten readiness, academic achievement and postsecondary success. The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network reaches 10.4 million students, involves 10,800 organizations and has partners in 30 states and Washington, D.C.
About National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ)
The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) is a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to driving sustainable improvements in the complex issues facing children’s health. We provide deep expertise in developing the pathways and partnerships for catalyzing change to achieve better outcomes for children and families.