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5 Lessons Learned about Student Success

Union City, New Jersey, an urban city just across the Hudson from Manhattan, has done the unthinkable.  They went from having one of the worst school districts in the state to competing with the best. What was their success? Professor David L. Kirp reveals in Improbable Scholars how a poor urban school district has 90 percent of its students (majority are Latino immigrants) graduate from high school, which is 10 percent more than the nationwide average, and 75 percent of them enroll in college. He not only chronicles their success but also includes recommendations for implementation in other communities whether you are urban, suburban or rural. 5 Lessons Learned: Create and Follow a Long-Term Plan: The school district committed to

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New Tool to Find Evidence-Based Programs

There’s a NEW TOOL for schools, government agencies and community-based organizations to help identify and fund scientifically proven programs with a track record of promoting children’s health and development. A new interactive website called Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development makes it easy to select cost-effective programs, based on scientific evaluations of those programs that show strong evidence of positive effects on youth development. Blueprints also provides critical information about the staff, training and financial resources organizations often need to include when applying for federal and state grants, developing school improvement plans or seeking funding for community initiatives. Easy-to-use search features allow users to identify programs by outcome, the positive and negative influences that predict those outcomes, population or program type. 

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Where is Your Governing Board in Its Life Cycle?

  All organizations go through different life cycles.  Where does your organization fall in the life cycles described below? Stage One: The Organizing Board Organizing boards tend to be one of two types, boards that follow a leader/founder and boards that lead or control an organization. Leading boards tend to be small, are often slow to hire staff, and reluctant to give up their immediate involvement in the organization. The transition stages for the organizing board are often marked by: – financial problems – board/staff struggles – new board members with differing expectations and motivations – less passivity to the founder/leader’s agenda – less personal identification with the organization and its mission Stage Two: The Governing Board In this stage,

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New Grant Opportunity to Support Early Childhood

  The federal Health Resources and Services Administration will provide an estimated $7.8 million through its “Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Building Health Through Integration” grant program. Eligible applicants include State governments, County governments, City or township governments and Nonprofits. Grants will go to proposals that: Improve healthy physical, social and emotional development during infancy and early childhood; Eliminate disparities; and Increase access to or improve the quality of early childhood programs. Applications are due April 26, 2013. More information is available here. Contact us for a consultation about this grant opportunity or other fund development needs.    

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New Grant Opportunity for Community Revitalization Programs

  Choice Neighborhoods support comprehensive community revitalization by focusing on housing, people and neighborhoods. Planning grants of up to $500,000 are available to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), local governments, nonprofits, and for-profit developers that apply jointly. Grantees are asked to develop a Transformation Plan to guide the revitalization of public and/or assisted housing units and the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood and positive outcomes for families. Applications are due May 28, 2013.  The Notice of Funding Availability and application package from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are available here. Transform Consulting Group is available to support your efforts at all levels to strategize, develop, edit and submit successful grant proposals: Create a comprehensive fund development plan. Develop

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New Partnership with AmeriCorps to Support School Turnaround

  At the end of February, the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced a new competitive AmeriCorps grant program to support school turnaround efforts. It will provide $15 million in public funds over three years to reinforce and accelerate intervention efforts in the nation’s lowest-performing schools. The new School Turnaround AmeriCorps program will support AmeriCorps members placed in persistently underachieving schools. Through this collaborative effort, they seek to increase student academic achievement, attendance and high school graduation rates, and college and career readiness in those schools. An initial investment of $15 million will support three years of the program. The School Turnaround AmeriCorps program will target the schools participating in the federal

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Begin with the End in Mind

  I am sure that you have heard of the quote by Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to know when you get there?” Why begin with the end in mind? Spending some time to think about your long-term goals – what you hope to accomplish in three, five or ten years – will pay off exponentially in the impact that you will have. While your leadership team and board members can often be eager to jump right into program and strategy development, a results-setting process helps organizations be more deliberate and strategic moving forward. When we talk about results, we are talking about the change that your organization wants to make

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Welcome to the Ripple Effect News

  Greetings! Welcome to the Ripple Effect News produced by Transform Consulting Group. At Transform, we believe in the ripple effect that one organization or individual can have on others. We are privileged to work with clients that are making a difference in the lives of children, families, schools and communities. Through the blog, we hope to provide relevant, timely and meaningful information to grow your impact. We will include industry news, best practices, funding opportunity announcements, information from our team of professionals, client news and other updates. We invite you to keep up with us and hope that you’ll find all we share helpful in your endeavors. Have a question about our consulting services or a related topic? Email

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