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 email@example.com.
American Student Assistance
American Student Assistance (ASA) works to create and implement innovative resources to help students explore education and job opportunities that best align with their interests and inspire meaningful career paths. To this end, ASA takes a “platform approach,” working with key partners to offer a range of resources for learners – from Future Network, a video series following Gen Z students as they learn about different career paths, to Futurescape, an immersive, digital platform designed for students to explore a broader range of career options beyond the classroom, informed by their passions, to Next Voice, a platform for students to learn more about the issues most important to them, connect with others who share their interests, and take action to make a difference.
To make sure communities have access to the tools and resources they need to best “plan, sustain, and continuously improve systemic SEL implementation” in schools across the country, the Collaboration for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) just announced a new virtual workshop series, “Leading Schoolwide SEL: Preparing for the Journey Ahead.” Launching January 2023, the four-part workshop will offer practical SEL strategies, actionable exercises, information and support for developing and implementing SEL plans in school communities, and more. Registration for the live series closes on January 11th, and an on-demand version is available now.
Eskolta is committed to working with educators to “foster cultures of compassion, respect, and high expectations in public schools,” and expand equity so that all students can thrive. To make sure student voices are centered in these efforts, Eskolta launched the Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) committee, engaging current and former alternative transfer school students to form a collaborative space focused on identifying and researching an issue most important to them, and working with Eskolta adults to translate their findings into organizational change.
In support of their work to recruit and coach service-oriented candidates for public office, break down barriers to entry into politics, and uplift leaders representative of the communities they seek to serve, New Politics launched a new initiative, the New Power Project, “focused on recruiting and empowering values-driven individuals who have grown up in marginalized or underserved communities.” Leveraging national networks, The New Power Project aims to identify and work with candidates facing systemic barriers to running a successful campaign and “and expand the pathways into elected office for a new generation of servant leaders.”
The F.I.N.D. Design
The F.I.N.D. (Families in Need of Direction) Design is dedicated to making sure that Black girls and girls of color have access to the resources, programming, safe spaces, and supports necessary to mitigate the effects of systemic and personal trauma, empower resiliency, and foster positive mental health outcomes. Their F.L.Y. (Forever Loving Yourself) Girl Program, aims to do just that, empowering “middle and high school girls of color by using gender-specific, culturally relevant, strength-based programming designed to provide them with a sense of ethnic pride and ‘connectedness’” through a positive youth development framework and impactful services that foster a strong self of identify, self-advocacy, and community. The program is open for registration.
The National Math and Science Initiative
To empower engagement in equitable, inclusive STEM education and experiences across the country, The National Math and Science Initiative has made a range of free resources available online for the educators, school leaders, and communities they serve. Their webpage includes example lesson plans, guides for culturally responsive education, case studies, guides, infographics, and more.
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