Adam Schwartz's Posts (35)

  • One of SSIR’s most-popular programs is once again available for you and other social sector leaders. In this two-part video series – “The Network Leader” – you’ll learn to harness the tremendous potential of networks, by building cultures and structures that enable networks to thrive.
    Read more…
  • A team at Northwestern University’s Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact is seeking community partners for a research project involving collaborative efforts to improve education.
    Read more…
  • Putting Colorado on Your Radar

    The 2017 Funder Huddle kicked off with a look into the inner workings of what Denver has been doing with their highly successful innovative and collaborative work in children's literacy. The Denver Host Committee's panel discussion inspired the audience by sharing their passion and detailing how they built a cohesive community vision. Our distinguished panelists were:

    • Moderator: Bruce Hoyt, senior vice president, Gary Community Investments
    • Anne Anderson, director of early childhood development, The Ben and Lucy Ana Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation
    • Elsa Holguín, senior program officer, Rose Community Foundation
    • Susan Steele, executive director, Buell Foundation

    Get the slide presentation.

    But those four esteemed leaders didn't do it alone, the Colorado Bright Spots are some of the foundations and community leaders that have helped to close the gap in Denver. Their support has contributed to results that equal double-digit gains on early literacy rates!

    This amazing progress is one of the reasons that Denver was named a 2016 Pacesetter. Of particular note is Denver's Birth to Eight Roadmap is a breakthrough document that details their plan to close the opportunity gap by 2020. 

    Read more…
  • Book-Rich Environments In Action

    The Sarasota Housing Department and Sarasota County Libraries joined forces this summer to make book deserts a thing of the past. Beginning in June, the two organizations set a goal to distribute 2,500 free books over the summer to children who live in the public housing communities, where many of the families live in extreme poverty.

    "Instead of it being a book desert, where these families don't have children's books in their homes at all, we are literally trying to make it a book-rich environment in not only their homes but their neighbor's homes and in the children's library in the building," said William Russell President and CEO of Sarasota Housing Authority.

    The book-rich environments initiative was launched in January and book distribution began, in earnest, in March of this year. Nearly 4 million low-income children are living in HUD-assisted housing across the country. BRE aims to foster a love of reading and to improve educational outcomes of children living in HUD-assisted housing by distributing free, high quality books to children, promoting literacy activities offered by local libraries and nonprofits, and by strengthening partnerships between Public Housing Authorities (PHA), local public libraries and literacy partners to develop and deliver programming to improve educational outcomes of PHA residents.

    PHAs across the country have long embraced the ideals behind the Book-Rich Environments Initiative, taking up the challenge to increase reading proficiency and improve the overall academic achievement of children in low-income families becoming bright spots of this nation-wide commitment with unique programs tailored to their community.

    Sarasota concluded it's summer campaign on August 9th with a "Back to School Bash", where they offered books, backpacks, school supplies and library cards to families. Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading were a part of the festivities, offering children summer reading programs. 

    The Book-Rich Environments Initiative is just getting started and with partners like these, it's going to change lives!

    If you'd like to learn more about the Book-Rich Environments Initiative:

    Read the press release to see the intiative's partners and leadership cohort.

    Learn about the 270,000 books that have been shipped to PHAs across the country.

    Find who to contact to get involved.

    Read more…
  • Reading Success by 4th Grade in the News

    Sally Fuller, the community lead for Springfield, Mass. wrote in to us to share the success they're seeing with their summer reading programs. 

    "Through the work of our summer leaning workgroup, we developed a city-wide summer reading project, aligned with the Springfield City Library’s Summer Reading Club, in which all participating programs – including the Springfield Public Schools’ summer school for rising 3rd graders – pledge to have all children read for 20 minutes every day. 

    This project represents a great partnership within the city’s summer learning community and it was totally the idea of the summer learning workgroup participants!

    We are tallying the # of minutes read by all participating children and so far, in the first three weeks of summer learning programing, there have been 11,129 20-minute reading sessions done by 9 programs (the SPS summer school is considered one program) for a total of 222,580 minutes read.


    Program aims to keep students reading at grade level in the summer – July 25, 2017

    Springfield students rack up the summer reading minutes, as part of program to increase literacy – July 25, 2017

    Molly-Goren Watts. our data partner from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, will keep the tally going and we will be announcing the minutes read across the city once more during the summer and then at the end. 

    Please watch the WWLP segment and see the young camper so articulate about  summer reading. And check out the photos from, as Dave Roback captured to joy of the event!!"

    Read more…
  • When Is it Ever About the Money?

    A blog post written by Mae Hong, one of the featured panelists at the More Than Money Philanthropy panel at the 2017 Funder Huddle.
    Read more…
  • Appy today to be a presenter at the Beyond School Hours XXI National Education Conference
    Read more…
  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation invites you to the second in a series of webinars exploring what it takes to implement a two-generation approach 3 p.m. EDT on July 6 . This session will focus on operational elements, including structure, family intake, the alignment of adult and child services and perhaps one of the most crucial components, the teams that get these initiatives off the ground. 

    We will share lessons drawn from the experiences of several organizations across the country that are helping parents and children succeed together. Representatives from two of these groups — the Community Action Project of Tulsa County and the Educational Alliance — will discuss the strategies they are using to effectively operationalize a two-generation approach with the families they serve. 

    Please note the registration password (in bold) below.

    Topic: Advancing Two-Generation Approaches: Developing an Infrastructure to Help Parents and Children Succeed 
    Date and Time:
    Thursday, July 6, 2017 3:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)

    Registration password: Two-gen

    To register for the online event
    1. Go to
    2. Click "Register".
    3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click "Submit".

    Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.

    Need help? Contact Alexandra Roose at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

    Read more…
  • Communications Expo Top Honors Announced

    The interest in the inaugural Communications Expo was astounding! We received over 150 submissions from across the country, showcasing everyone's best communication materials. Many thanks again to every Community that participated. Check out the list below for the top three awardees for each category. We also invite you to take a look at the Communications Expo Gallery which showcases all the finalists' entries from each category.

    Excellence in Communications Awardees (awardees are listed in alphabetical order):

    Awareness Campaign
    Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
    NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
    ROC The Future

    Media Partnership:
    Ames Reads
    AR Kids Read (AR-Pulaski)
    Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

    Media Story
    Moonshot Moment of Indian River County
    Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
    Turn the Page KC

    Read by 4th
    Reading Success by 4th Grade
    Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

    Print Collateral
    Get Georgia Reading Campaign
    Learn to Earn Dayton
    Turn the Page KC

    Ames Reads
    Turn the Page KC

    Get Georgia Reading Campaign
    Oregon's Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
    Turn the Page KC

    Read by 4th
    Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
    Wake Up and Read

    Social Media
    Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
    Ready by 4th
    Turn the Page KC

    Read more…
  • New Supporting Parent Success Report Released

    The GLR Campaign has just released a new report showing, with research, how parents really are the secret sauce.
    Read more…
  • ThePreschool Development Grant department at has published a report brief that examines braiding, blending, and layering funding streams as possible strategies for supporting and sustaining high quality preschool programs. 

    The brief includes interviews across three states with school district administrators, a Head Start director, and the director of a child care program illustrate how some leaders at the local level combine available funds to offer families the programming they need for their children.

    Sustaining quality inclusive early childhood programs for children from families with lower incomes is a concern for all state and local administrators, including the administrators of the Preschool Development Grant (PDG). States have used PDG funds to expand access and enhance the quality of their subgrantees’ preschool programs. As the PDG program enters Year Three of a four-year grant, integratinging available funding streams may be one of the strategies these states and their local subgrantees use to sustain the PDG work following the end of federal funding.

    The strategies of braiding, blending and layering federal, state and local funding streams to provide more comprehensive, inclusive early learning programs for young children and their families are not new. States and local communities have used these strategies for some time now. The goal of the brief is to increase awareness of these strategies, add some new funding streams (i.e., PDG funds) to the mix for consideration, and profile how local administrators are making it work in their contexts.

    Read more…
  • Federal Register has recently published two notices from the Department of Education regarding Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) Programs.

    The first is a notice inviting applications for new awards for Fiscal year 2017.
    The applications became available on May 16 and the deadline is July 17. 

    Purpose of Program: The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) Program awards competitive grants to advance literacy skills, including pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing, for children from birth through grade 12, with an emphasis on disadvantaged children, including children living in poverty, English learners, and children with disabilities.

    The second is a notice announcing priorities, requirements, definitions and selection criteria under the SRCL program.  

    Purpose of this Regulatory Action: The Department will make competitive grant awards under the SRCL program to eligible SEAs for the purpose of advancing literacy skills, including pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing, for children from birth through grade 12, with an emphasis on disadvantaged children, including children living in poverty, English learners, and children with disabilities.

    Follow the above links to gain great insight in to the application process and the selection criteria under the SRCL program. 

    Read more…
  • "School isn’t the same as it used to be. The experiences parents remember are far different from the experiences their children are having. The resources and challenges are different, too. The CLASS Coalition, spearheaded by United Way of Greater Los Angeles, has created a Parent Toolkit that empowers LAUSD parents and caregivers with the questions, checklists and info they need to be the biggest advocates for their children’s education."

    While we don't all live in sunny LA, there's important information in this toolkit for everyone across California and the country. It provides information and instructions on topics such as:

    • How to make your voice heard when schools are deciding where to apportion monetary support.
    • Who to speak to in a given situation. E.g., principals, superintendents, and school boards

    The toolkit also offers some sample questions, depending on a child's age, to help you get the ball rolling when planning a meeting with teachers, principals, etc. There's also a glossary of terms which you might find helpful. 

    If you live in Los Angeles, this is a "must have" toolkit. If you live outside of Los Angeles, this toolkit offers some great insights and might inspire you to build a toolkit for your city!

    Read more…
  • Talking is Teaching is a public awareness and action campaign that's part of Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of The Opportunity Institute and the Clinton Foundation. Talking is Teaching helps parents recognize their power to boost their children's early brain and vocabulary development through simple, everyday actions - like describing things while walking outside, or singing songs together during bath time. Using books, parent videos, text messaging, social media, and information from…
    Read more…
  • Sheena Wright is the first female president in United Way NYC’s 80-year history. Here’s how she’s doing the difficult work of changing hearts and minds. Sheena will also be serving as a panelist during the 2017 Funder Huddle on the "More Than Money Philanthropy" panel.
    Read more…
  • The authors note that the increasing prevalence of pre-K programs provides an ideal laboratory to build upon existing research through additional rigorous analysis of programs over time. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia, through 57 pre-K programs, have introduced substantial innovations in their early education systems to accommodate pre-K programs that now serve nearly 30 percent of the nation’s 4-year-olds and 5 percent of 3-year-olds.
    Read more…
  • According to a 12-year study conducted by Ohio State University, as reported by USA Today, students entering first grade in 2013 had "significantly better reading skills" than the same age group 12 years earlier.
    Read more…
  • TEAM Summer aims to not only reduce summer learning loss for all of Norwalk’s children, but also to help boost student achievement and foster healthier, safer and more confident children. These efforts will help the children of Norwalk avoid the notorious "summer slide", where disadvantaged children can fall behind better off children.
    Read more…
  • "In our study, food insecurity in infancy and toddlerhood predicted lower cognitive and social-emotional skills in kindergarten, skills that can predict later success in academics and life."
    Read more…
  • Are you struggling with coming up with ideas for National School Library Month? No need to worry, the American Association of School Librarians has you covered. They put up a handy slideshow that contains ideas for each week of April for all age-ranges. The ideas range from creating book trailers (complete with a link to help you being) to starting a library helpers club. There are options for elementary, middle and high school students - everyone can be included!

    There are many more way to celebrate check out the main site to find other ideas, advocacy packs, and the social media hashtag.

    Read more…