The start of the school year can bring a range of feelings into focus for District families. Many are relieved that summer is over, and they have increased support from "the village" of educators and out-of-school programs. They hope their children continue to grow into their potential this year but fear for their health and safety. The pandemic has been brutal on families. The recent revelation that math and reading test scores have plummeted to their lowest point in five years highlights the need for District policymakers and community leaders to take stock of child and youth well-being. To help them out, we have updated our DC Kids Count data book, which looks at how kids are doing by using demographic, economic justice, health and safety, and early childhood measures that are as current as possible. We also look at measures in each ward and include eight ward snapshots so residents, advocates, and legislators can easily understand what’s happening in their neighborhoods.
Demanding Transparency and Accountability in OST Funding as DC Council Returns from Recess
The DC Council will return from recess to finish up this current legislative session that ends in December. We have already begun pressing the Council to provide much-needed oversight on the additional OST funding we all fought so hard for over the last two years. We are requesting a standalone public hearing to get resolution on several issues negatively impacting the sector and ultimately stifling programs from serving kids when they need it the most.
Spread the Word about Youth Count Survey to Support District Youth
Tomorrow marks the launch of the Youth Count survey, a District-wide effort to collect information about housing instability and homelessness among DC youth. The results of this survey have a direct effect on the amount and availability of resources to support youth who face these challenges.
The survey takes just 10 minutes to complete and is accessible in multiple languages. Eligible youth who complete the survey can receive a $20 Visa gift card to thank them for their participation. Surveys will be open online at YouthCountDC.org until September 30. Youth can take a survey themselves, or partnering providers can administer the survey to youth in their programs.
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Building on her book The Sum of Us, an examination of our country’s struggles to come together across racial and socioeconomic divisions, Heather McGhee created a podcast to document her conversations with people about how they are bridging divides to make meaningful change. Listen to The Sum of Us podcast here.