Giving Compass’ Take:
• St. Louis school districts are slowly improving their statistics through collective impact initiatives. People are connected to services they need through the school district’s network.
• What are other examples of collective impact that have been successful?
• Learn about how collective impact can lead to impact philanthropy through strategic partnerships and thoughtful collaborations.
Fifty percent of adults in St Louis city are out of the workforce.
Government and philanthropy have poured untold millions into the former industrial powerhouse with the worst-performing school district in the nation.
East St. Louis also has one of the nation’s highest per-capita murder rates as well as some of the highest rates of childhood asthma and lead poisoning. But Hicks and dozens of other locals say that these depressing facts hide a deeper story about the people in a Rust Belt city working together to pick themselves up from the postindustrial wreckage of disinvestment and population flight.
Student performance in this last-place district is improving. Over the last three years, the proportion of students passing Common Core-aligned national math and reading tests has inched up, growing from 3 percent to 6 percent.
Locals are certain the numbers will only get better, thanks to an innovative but simple new approach that is lifting people out of poverty: Connect all the various services available to families, from housing to counseling to job training, and use the school district, the entity that touches the lives of almost every kid in town, to help parents tap into that network. The concept draws from a reform strategy called “collective impact” that many other struggling American cities are trying in different forms.
Now, after-school programs are connected to the school district’s data system, so kids can spend their time focused on the academic subjects in which they need the most help. The schools have opened their doors to Hoyleton Youth and Family Services, to provide student and family counseling. Another organization, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s East St. Louis Center, is working with parents and high school students to get them into workforce development programs that will lead to family-sustaining careers.
Read the full article about St Louis collective impact by Emmanuel Felton at The Hechinger Report
If you are looking for more articles and resources for Collective Impact, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and Collective Impact.
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