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Promise Neighborhoods (and PNI) in USA Today!

USA Today highlights Promise Neighborhoods across the country in an article published today, and PNI director Michael McAfee stresses what sets the Promise Neighborhood model apart:

“We are focusing on results,” McAfee says. “I think that is what makes Promise Neighborhood different. … We are building a national infrastructure that holds ourselves accountable.”

It’s great to see Promise Neighborhoods getting good press, and also nice to see an emphasis on Promise Neighborhoods moving forward without federal funding.

Community residents at a Promise Neighborhood effort in St. Cloud, MN

Read the full article, and share widely!

Congratulations to the 2011 ED Promise Neighborhood Grantees!

The Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink congratulates the recipients of the FY 2011 US Department of Education Promise Neighborhoods grants.

The five Promise Neighborhoods implementation grantees are:

  • Berea College (Clay, Jackson, and Owsley Counties, Ky.)
  • California State University – East Bay (Hayward, Calif.)
  • Northside Achievement Zone (Minneapolis, Minn.)
  • United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County, Inc. (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Westminster Foundation (Buffalo, N.Y.)

The 15 Promise Neighborhoods planning grantees are:

  • Black Family Development (Detroit, Mich.)
  • CAMBA (New York)
  • Campo Band of Mission Indians (Campo, Calif.)
  • Catholic Charities of Albany (Hudson, N.Y.)
  • Children Youth and Family Services (Charlottesville, Va.)
  • Community Action Project of Tulsa (Tulsa, Okla.)
  • Elmezzi Foundation (New York)
  • Martha O’Bryan Center (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • Mercer University (Macon, Ga.)
  • Meriden Children’s First (Meriden, Conn.)
  • Mission Economic Development Agency (San Francisco)
  • Ohio University (Glouster, Ohio)
  • Reading and Beyond (Fresno, Calif.)
  • SGA Youth and Family Services (Chicago)
  • South Bay Community Services (Chula Vista, Calif.)

We are so pleased to see so many groups from our Promise Neighborhood network on this list, and excited to get to know the others. Our work to build this movement continues with all Promise Neighborhoods, whether or not they received federal grants. 2012 will be an exciting year!

Promise Neighborhoods Will Likely Get $60 million in FY 2012

Nothing is confirmed yet, as we’re still waiting for the vote next week, but we’re hearing that $60 million for Promise Neighborhoods has been included in the spending bill for FY 2012!

This is wonderful news for the communities across the country working to build Promise Neighborhoods, and will plan to apply for new or continued funding.

Read the full article from EdWeek, which outlines the spending bill areas related to education. Here’s the piece on Promise:

“And the Promise Neighborhoods program, which helps communities pair wraparound services, such as health, with education, was a big winner. It got $60 million, according to CEF. That’s up from about $30 million last year.”

Stay tuned! We’ll post details as we get them.

Promise Neighborhoods in the New York Times!

An op-ed piece by scholars Helen F. Ladd and Edward B. Fiske makes the case that education policy isn’t doing enough to address the issues that face disadvantaged students. What would be helpful? Promise Neighborhoods, which they say is a “welcome first step,” but has been “under-financed.”

Helen F. Ladd, co-author of "Class Matters. Why Won't We Admit It?"

Read the full piece, and let us know what you think!

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Promise Neighborhoods: A Prize-Winning Topic!

Evan White, a student at University of California, Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy and School of Law, wrote about Promise Neighborhoods for a scholarship context and took first place!

We know Promise Neighborhoods set a gold standard, and we’re thrilled to see that GovLoop agrees!

Here’s a taste of his work:

“In a time of national crisis, it is tempting to provide temporary salve to those worst hurt by the economic downturn.  But $100 million is insufficient to make a meaningful nationwide difference in areas like unemployment, foreclosure, and economic stimulus.  Rather than inadequately mending the problems of today, we should invest in the promise of tomorrow.”


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Promise Neighborhoods on the Hill–What You Need to Know

It’s that time again! Congress is negotiating the FY 2012 budget, and we’ve got to pay attention.

President Obama requested $150 million for Promise Neighborhoods. The Senate marked up $60 million, and is trying to figure out a solution with the House.

So what’s next? What can we expect? What should we do?

Check out this EquityBlog post for more information, and find out how to get involved!

High Praise for Worcester!

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette has published an editorial in support of the Main South Promise Neighborhood in Worcester, MA.

We’re thrilled to see such a wonderful program gaining fans, and excited also to see newspapers like the Telegram and Gazette support the vision of Promise Neighborhoods!

Go, Tim, Go!

Tim Garvin, CEO of United Way of Central Mass, lead organization of the Main South Promise Neighborhood


No Gov’t Funding? The Show Must Go On!

We know how important the Promise Neighborhoods planning and implementation grants from the Department of Education are. We know how hard communities work to obtain one, and we’ve seen how transformative this funding and approach can be.

But what happens if you don’t get ED funding?

The DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative knows its answer: keep doing the work. Period.

Derek Lieu, for The Chronicle.

Even though DCPNI is not in the running for an implementation grant (due to a technical problem), it’s ready to keep improving the lives of children in the Parkside-Kenilworth neighborhood. Its matching grants are high–as are its spirits–and DCPNI leaders know that there’s little time to waste.

“Little time to waste” is a sentiment shared by all Promise Neighborhood leaders across the country as they look at the challenges facing their neighborhoods and see the potential for real, lasting change. The Department of Education will be announcing the next round of planning and implementation grantees soon, and since there will only be 16 grants awarded, most of the applicants will not receive federal funding. DCPNI has become one model of how to proceed without federal funding. There are many others.

From Seattle to South Tuscon to Chicago, Promise Neighborhoods are rising up, getting funds, forming relationships, and making a difference in the lives of their children. They’re engaging with the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink community of practice, learning from their peers, and taking advantage of the free data systems offered by PNI so that they don’t have to make the choice between providing valuable services and tracking indicators and outcomes.

Stay tuned for more on how communities are remaining committed to building a movement–and how PNI is standing with them. The show must go on!

For now, read the full Chronicle of Philanthropy article on the DCPNI!

The Promise Ambassadors

Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood’s got ‘em, and you’ve gotta meet ‘em!

Here’s the deal, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “During 2011, 20 adults and eight teens were named ‘Promise Ambassadors.’ Each agrees to reach out to at least 50 Central residents and to do a community engagement project to advance the Promise Neighborhood’s ‘cradle to college’ agenda. Each ambassador receives three weeks of training, funded by the Sisters of Charity Foundation, and makes a ‘promise’ to use his or her unique talent to help improve the community.”

De'Etta Brown, left, and her 15-year-old daughter, Brenda, have gone through training to be Promise Ambassadors. Lonnie Timmons III, The Plain Dealer

Check out the full article for more profiles of Promise Ambassadors.

Want more on Cleveland Central? You got it! The Cleveland Plain Dealer is starting a series about them, so check out the first one and stay tuned for more!

What’s All This Talk About “Equity”? Geoff Canada Will Tell You.

After PolicyLink released its paper, America’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model, lots of leaders, visionaries, thinkers, and doers have been weighing in to say why they think it’s true.

Geoffrey Canada, CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, writes the following:

“Education is the surest way out of poverty, so it is incumbent on all of us to make sure the opportunity to get a great education is truly available to all American children. America’s Tomorrow outlines several smart, do-able strategies where education can improve the outlook for poor children as well as the country’s workforce.”

Go to EquityBlog for his full commentary–and while you’re there, check out the other endorsements of the paper.

PS Haven’t read America’s Tomorrow yet?? Download the full version, the summary, or the version in Spanish now, and read! And share! And discuss.