StriveTogether Announces Cradle to Career Catalyst Awards during 4th Annual Convening

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KnowledgeWorks subsidiary recognizes United Way, Ford Foundation, partnership sites for advancing cradle to career initiatives nationwide and in communities.

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Jeff Edmondson

The same data-driven and disciplined process for working together at the community level that is at the core of building civic infrastructure is needed among partners at the national level

United Way Worldwide, Ford Foundation and three StriveTogether sites in Milwaukee, Richmond, VA., and Central New Mexico were honored during the 2013 StriveTogether Annual Convening in Dallas on September 25-27 for their roles in advancing and scaling national cradle to career initiatives.

Also at the convening, Managing Director Jeff Edmondson announced that Strive Network has changed its name to “StriveTogether” to accentuate the importance of both communities and national partners working in an aligned way to maintain the momentum in the field around quality collective impact. “The same data-driven and disciplined process for working together at the community level that is at the core of building civic infrastructure is needed among partners at the national level,” Edmondson said.
StriveTogether, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, works with communities nationwide and helps them create a civic infrastructure to unite stakeholders around shared goals, measures and results in education, supporting the success of every child, cradle to career. More than 90 communities are actively engaged in the work of StriveTogether.

Winners of the 2013 Cradle to Career Catalyst Award have modeled this central ethic of working together, Edmondson said. Specifically, the award is given to individuals or organizations that:

  •     Helped ignite or develop partnerships that build the momentum of the work nationally.
  •     Actively engaged as a thought partner to help shape this growing movement to develop civic infrastructure and have collective impact.
  •     Provided critical seed funding to take projects to scale that can benefit the cradle to career movement as a whole.

The award-winning sites are Milwaukee Succeeds, a cradle to career partnership founded in 2011; Bridging Richmond, founded in 2009; and Mission: Graduate, an Albuquerque-based partnership founded in 2013. StriveTogether specifically recognized Milwaukee Succeeds, Bridging Richmond, and Mission: Graduate for what it said were examples of going “above and beyond” for their engagement as thought partners during the past year, particularly through the process for developing and revising the Theory of Action, a continuum of quality benchmarks for building and sustaining civic infrastructure.

“This year’s recipients demonstrate the power of organizations and communities working together with a goal of helping every child to succeed from cradle to career,” said State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, who chairs StriveTogether’s National Advisory board. “Their excellence provides an example that we all appreciate and hope to continue each year.”

Ford’s award was given in recognition of their thought partnership and financial support related to the development and implementation of data infrastructure. United Way Worldwide’s award recognized its efforts to help ignite and develop partnerships that build the momentum of cradle to career work nationally. During the past year, StriveTogether has partnered with the United Way Worldwide and Target to develop a cohort of communities working together to build cradle to career civic infrastructure.

Winners in 2012 were Annie E. Casey Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

StriveTogether, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, works with communities nationwide to help them create a civic infrastructure that unites stakeholders around shared goals, measures and results in education, supporting the success of every child, cradle to career. Communities implementing the StriveTogether framework have seen dramatic improvements in kindergarten readiness, standardized test results, and college retention. For more information about StriveTogether, visit http://www.strivetogether.org.

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