The national momentum to build Cradle to Career Partnerships is continuing to grow. We are excited to see so many communities committed to building the civic infrastructure necessary to improve outcomes for every child, from cradle to career. One of these emerging partnerships is AchieveGuilford, a community-based partnership dedicated to the educational success of all children in Guilford County, NC. AchieveGuilford has made tremendous progress since its start in 2011 in all four pillars of the Strive framework:
In regards to the first pillar, Shared Community Vision, AchieveGuilford has brought together leaders from key sectors of the community to agree upon and own a Cradle to Career vision for student success. The partnership has consistently shown a dedication to Evidence Based Decision Making, reporting educational data and progress to the community for four years now. Based on this very intentional use of data, they are identifying priority focus areas for their work within the community. The partnership is also starting to see progress in Collaborative Action – one of the most difficult pillars of the framework to implement – with the creation of networks around these priority areas that will use continuous improvement processes to scale what works. And to sustain their work, AchieveGuilford is engaging funders both financially and intellectually as they donate their skills and resources to this innovative effort.
It is important that sites around the country learn from the successes and challenges of partnerships like AchieveGuilford to sustain the momentum of this growing national movement, and to build their own Cradle to Career Partnerships faster than previous efforts. The Strive Network is a way to connect the local expertise within these communities and tap into the knowledge and tools that the field has to offer. This helps Guilford County kids benefit from the learnings in Houston, while young people in Denver benefit from the work in Guilford County. Collaboration to change systems at the local level will drive student success within a particular community, but to ensure that our country has the talent to compete in this ever-evolving global economy, and to create the pervasive systemic change to help every child succeed, we must work to collaborate in a focused way at the national level.
The Strive Network is happy to welcome AchieveGuilford into the family of Cradle to Career Partnerships as an emerging member and looks forward to the connections that can be made to help kids succeed everywhere.