Earlier this year, Bold Goals Education was one of just 10 coalitions nationwide to receive a six-month planning grant from the Together for Students Initiative. Together for Students was created by three national nonprofits that focus on education: the Coalition for Community Schools, Communities In Schools and StriveTogether. Funding comes from the Ford Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The focus of our six-month planning effort, which officially concluded on October 31st, has been on streamlining student-centered literacy efforts with Birmingham City Schools (BSC) and community partners through the Bold Goals BCS Network, in alignment with the BCS Force for Greatness Strategic Plan.
There are three key results of this planning that will guide the work of the Bold Goals BCS Network going forward.
- We aligned our goals and strategies with the new BCS Force for Greatness Strategic Plan and particular emphasis on elementary literacy. The Birmingham Board of Education also voted to approve an appendix to the Force for Greatness Strategic Plan that defines the school district’s commitments to partners, as well as expectations from partners themselves.
- We developed an advocacy agenda that calls for more intensive expansion of Alabama’s First Class Pre-K in our region, both in terms of access to the program and participation in it.
- We have developed a web-based asset map that helps all stakeholders better understand the partnerships happening at each school. For now, the asset map focuses mainly on elementary and K-8 schools and literacy-based partnership. It’s a work in progress that will expand to cover far more information over time. You can test out the Birmingham City Schools Asset Map by clicking here.
We are grateful for the many partners who helped make this initiative so successful, including the Superintendent and Board of Education of Birmingham City Schools, Alabama Possible, the Birmingham Education Foundation, the Norwood Resource Center and all participating organizations in the BCS Network. We’re excited about our next steps – not only in Birmingham, but across our entire five-county Central Alabama region.