Every week, America Forward is highlighting a few examples of the vital work being done by our Coalition members to support students, families, educators, workers, elected leaders, advocates, and communities across the country. If your organization has resources, an announcement, or a story that you would like to see included, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As local and national leaders continue to shape the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, civic engagement is more important than ever. In an effort to empower individuals to participate in advocacy and policymaking, Generation Citizen, in partnership with SYPartners, recently launched Beyond the Ballot, “a collection of election resources, civic action prompts, and skill-building lessons designed to encourage sustainable participation in our communities and our democracy.”
POWER works to ensure that “voices of all faiths, races, and income levels are counted and have a say in government.” Through their Voter Engagement Program, they are organizing to make sure that “Black and Brown communities are seen and heard” in November’s election: working on GOTV efforts and inviting “voters from across all of Central Pennsylvania, Greater Philadelphia, and the Lehigh Valley into one-to-one conversations about their vision for their families, local communities, and the nation as a whole.”
Each fall, College Forward helps their community navigate the transition back to school, and the challenges that come with it — challenges that are now compounded as school communities also navigate additional barriers brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fall, College Forward found that one of the major challenges facing their community was financial instability. To help, they developed an emergency relief fund “dedicated to providing financial assistance and support” to their community, and to date have distributed approximately $35,000 to their students most impacted by COVID-19.
Since the beginning of the summer, AppleTree has worked to develop comprehensive plans for delivering pre-K this fall, preparing for both hybrid and distance learning models. By adapting their Every Child Ready curriculum to meet the needs of the moment, developing a Distance Learning resource platform, and partnering with Noggin to grant access to games, books, and shows for their families through their app, AppleTree has been able to continue to provide critical services for their students, families, and community.
The COVID-19 crisis has left millions of people unemployed across the United States, and left opportunity youth — those young people neither in school nor working — especially vulnerable to the financial and social turbulence of this moment. In a move that aims to provide critical supports to these young people, YouthBuild USA recently announced a partnership with Home Builders Institute (HBI), designed to equip “nearly 200 U.S. Department of Labor YouthBuild grantees coast-to-coast with access to resources for educating opportunity youth in construction trade skills,” in order to increase access to the housing workforce and create greater job stability.
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