As the school year opened its session in the heat of the last days of August, Generation Next opened the doors on two well-attended action network meetings. Each session began with a brief update on Generation Next including a presentation of our cross-sector partnership as shown here:
On Tuesday the 27th, the early literacy network met for a two-hour session. The turnout and participation exceeded our expectations with strong representation from a wide range of organizations and experts including early childhood learning specialists from the nonprofit sector, the public sector, city schools, and policy makers.
In the first of two breakout sessions, the team identified a number of root causes for the gaps in early literacy achievement. Access to quality preschool programs along with access to transportation topped the list. In the second breakout session, the team identified a number of scalable ideas that hold great promise for the future. One idea that received much discussion involved a statewide campaign to inform parents not only about the achievement gap but also about how their involvement can impact positive change.
On Thursday, August 29th, the college and career readiness network met for a two-hour session. They filled the room to capacity and spent the afternoon rolling up their sleeves. In the first breakout session the team identified a number of root causes that prevent students from achieving readiness with strong agreement that these issues need to be viewed as a systems problem rather than isolated variables. The second breakout session yielded a number of scalable ideas for bridging the gap including: parent engagement, mentorship, and closer partnerships between high schools and post-secondary institutions.
September meetings will convene at the United Way and will be on Monday the 16th from 1PM – 3PM for the early literacy network and on Tuesday, September 17th from 8AM-10AM for the college and career readiness network.