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Cincinnati, Aug. 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StriveTogether, a national nonprofit working to bring communities together around data to make decisions and improve results for kids, today announced the first group of awardees for its Cradle to Career Community Challenge grant program. More than $20 million over the next three years will fund projects across the country that aim to shift public policy and engage the systems needed to help students progress from kindergarten to postsecondary completion and finding a job.
Communities in the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network were eligible to apply for the Community Challenge. This grant program seeks to create local change to enable economic mobility. The goal is to strengthen and align the many systems, such as education, employment, health and housing, that shape opportunity for children and families in America.
“Education is key to a strong economy, and every child should have the opportunity to achieve his or her fullest potential, but existing systems don’t always support the success of students, particularly students of color and those from low-income families,” StriveTogether President and CEO Jennifer Blatz said. “Using the common language of data, we can create better, more equitable systems to improve outcomes for major milestones in every child’s life. Our Cradle to Career Community Challenge will enhance and expand the real, lasting results underway across our 70 communities.”
The Community Challenge program consists of two funds:
“Collective impact — bringing together policymakers and education leaders with business, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to work on a common goal through the common language of data — has proven successful across dozens of StriveTogether communities. It’s time to scale our local success stories and start to move the needle state by state, across the nation,” said Nancy Zimpher, StriveTogether board chair and chancellor emeritus of the State University of New York.
The Cradle to Career Community Challenge is funded by Ballmer Group, the philanthropy co-founded by civic activist Connie Ballmer and her husband Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and chairman of the LA Clippers. Grantees are expected to secure matching funding in years two and three of the program through local fundraising efforts, raising the overall investment in communities to potentially more than $30 million.
The Strategic Initiatives Fund will support these seven policy-focused projects:
Statewide Texas, led by The Commit Partnership (Dallas County)
Statewide Minnesota, led by Generation Next (Minneapolis/St. Paul)
Statewide Washington, led by Graduate Tacoma
Statewide Utah, led by Promise Partnership of Salt Lake
Statewide Wisconsin, led by Milwaukee Succeeds
Statewide Ohio, led by StrivePartnership (Cincinnati)
Regional San Antonio and Bexar County effort, led by P16 Plus Council of Greater Bexar County
The Opportunity Fund will support these nine community projects:
Central Texas (E3 Alliance)
Cincinnati, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky (StrivePartnership)
Dallas County, Texas (The Commit Partnership)
Dayton/Montgomery County, Ohio (Learn to Earn Dayton)
Tacoma, Wash. (Graduate Tacoma)
Portland/Multnomah County, Ore. (All Hands Raised)
Racine County, Wis. (Higher Expectations for Racine County)
Shelby County, Tenn. (Seeding Success)
Spartanburg County, S.C. (Spartanburg Academic Movement)
StriveTogether leads a national movement of 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.
Dawn Raftery StriveTogether 3127717724 firstname.lastname@example.org