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AF Coalition Members Step up During Crisis (Vol. 29)

Every month, 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 america_forward@newprofit.org.

Educators for Excellence

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, students and educators across the country continue to experience enormous disruptions to learning. To better understand the impact of the pandemic, and the resulting disruption, Educators for Excellence conducted Voices from the (Virtual) Classroom: A Survey of Los Angeles Educators, in partnership with the USC Rossier School of Education. The project gathered key insights to “leverage the expertise and experience of those on the front lines — our educators — to reshape our education system to better serve all students.”

College Possible

Over the past year, many prospective college students across the country have been unable to complete in-person college visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help students – many from low-income backgrounds – navigate these challenges and explore higher education opportunities, College Possible Minnesota ‘hosted a series of 11 online events with college partners to introduce students to college options and give them a chance to hear directly from admissions counselors, college coaches and college students.”

Enterprise

For many students, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only disrupted educational experiences, but also created severe housing-related challenges, including “homelessness, evictions, frequent moves, overcrowded living conditions and poor-quality housing.” In December, Enterprise released the findings of a study, conducted in partnership with The NHP Foundation, that shed important light on the extent of this housing instability and its profound impact on educational outcomes for K-12 students.

America’s Promise Alliance

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis will resonate long after the pandemic is over, deeply affecting the futures of young people across the United States. To encourage youth engagement and help guide important conversations about COVID-19 and other topics, America’s Promise Alliance has published Discussing Crucial Issues with Youth: A supplemental guide for engaging young people around top-of-mind issues in 2021, “designed for school, district, out-of-school time, and other community leaders or youth-supporting adults who wish to partner with young people in their communities to better understand their experiences with issues that matter to them.”

Think of Us

Studies of young people who have “aged out” of the foster care system find disproportionate rates of “homelessness, incarceration, unemployment, and lack of access to health care among former foster youth” — particularly, Black, Native, Brown, queer, and trans youth. As the COVID-19 crisis continues, former foster youth are facing even greater challenges, and understanding the aging out experience is especially critical to developing responsive policies and supports. To help inform this process, Think of Us has published a new resource, Aged Out: How We’re Failing Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care.

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