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Change Networks

Improving the lives of young people across Southern Arizona, one outcome at a time.

Change Networks are how the work of collective impact gets done. Organizations committed to applying a continuous improvement framework to guide their work come together to focus on a specific outcome. Cradle to Career currently has six collaborative Change Networks.

Kindergarten Readiness Change Network

The benefits of high-quality childcare go beyond the children who receive the care and learning that prepare them for success as they enter kindergarten. Our community’s economic future is inextricably linked to the overall functioning of the systems meant to support our youngest children and their families. When these systems are working well for everyone, all children are equipped with the foundational skills that set them on the trajectory for life-long success, and their caregivers can more fully engage in job training and the workforce. Additionally, when early childhood educators, who are disproportionately women of color, are valued as professionals with adequate compensation, children are more likely to have a higher quality learning experience. All of this combined promotes economic mobility throughout the community.

The factors that contribute to more kids being ready for kindergarten are varied, complex, and begin before birth, but we do know that going to a high-quality preschool is one of the most impactful. Because of this, and in the absence of a state-wide child-centered indicator for readiness, C2C tracks the percent of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in high-quality early childhood programs.

The Kindergarten Readiness Change Network’s vision is that all children ages 0-8 in Tucson and Southern Arizona are in safe and supportive environments that promote their cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being.

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Recent Updates from Kindergarten Readiness

Collective Action and Data Sharing to Support Early Childhood Education

The Kindergarten Readiness Change Network shared the continued impact happening in this area at the February C2C Leadership Council meeting.

Early Grade Literacy Change Network

Early literacy skills are foundational as children move from learning to read to reading to learn. Research shows that children who are reading at grade level by third grade are on track for better academic outcomes as they continue along the educational pipeline. The percentage of Pima County third graders proficient on the state assessment is one indicator of how well the school systems are ready and adequately resourced to support all students.

For the last three years, C2C has implemented site-based continuous improvement projects in several elementary schools. Because the continuous improvement process is about making small changes in real-time, teachers are able to adjust their instructional practices immediately and assess the effectiveness quarterly. This also allows teachers to strategically target individual students who need additional interventions and support.

“Looking at data can often times make teachers feel like we are not doing the right things. Working with our C2C facilitator has helped us focus on the good in the data and encourages us to take steps to make small improvements that end up making a big impact.”

Lead Reading Specialist
Butterfield Elementary School

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Recent Updates from Early Grade Literacy

C2C Receives $70,000 to Support School Partnerships

United Way of Tucson invests in Early Grade Literacy and Middle School Math.

Celebrating Successes in Early Grade Literacy

Last month, Cradle to Career (C2C) held a year end celebration with five Early Grade Literacy teams from Marana Unified School District.

Middle School Math Change Network

Being proficient at math in eighth grade is a critical milestone, and there are many factors, academic and non-academic, that contribute to students’ achievement in mathematics. C2C ‘s Middle School Math Change Network is testing strategies to increase the number of students who enter into high school prepared and confident to continue their math courses. In 2021, partners from Marana Unified School District and Tucson Unified School District and content experts from the University of Arizona’s Center for the Recruitment and Retention of Math Teachers (CRR), continued the collaborative work virtually. Together they identified that creating a bridge between fifth and sixth grade curricula would better prepare students for a successful transition to middle school math.

During the 2021-22 school year, Marana Unified School District tested an innovative professional development opportunity created for sixth grade math teachers. Monthly sessions were designed around students’ upcoming lessons. By doing so, teachers received instructional supports and hands-on previews specific to the concepts they would be teaching next. C2C is providing technical assistance for continuous improvement and data support to assess the impact of this professional development strategy on student learning. This support includes designing teacher surveys to track changes in their confidence and knowledge of sixth grade math standards. The early successes and learnings from this project are informing similar strategies in other districts, as well as action towards prioritizing professional development opportunities that meet teachers’ needs.

united youth leadership council members

Recent Updates from Middle School Math

C2C Receives $70,000 to Support School Partnerships

United Way of Tucson invests in Early Grade Literacy and Middle School Math.

Middle School Math Change Network: Continuous Improvement

Updates and successes from the Middle School Math Change Network during the 2021-22 school year.

Collaboration Promoting Equitable Grading Strategies in Math

The Cradle to Career Partnership and Tucson Regional Educators Collaborative (TREC) are promoting an equitable grading approach.

Middle School Math Change Network Meets to Share Findings from Marana Learning Cohort

The Middle School Math Change Network had their first meeting of 2022.

Post-Secondary Enrollment Change Network

Post-Secondary Completion Change Network

Education after high school provides opportunities for social and economic mobility, but only if there is equitable access to pathways that lead to a credential and systemic support for student success. In the absence of either, race, ethnicity, and income will continue to be predictors of who does and does note achieve these milestones. Even before students start the process of enrolling in higher education, there are factors that can affect opportunities for post-secondary success. Early targeted support promoting college and career exploration can help students leave high school with the knowledge necessary to navigate post-secondary pathways and courses. However, access to college and career counselors is limited for many students as Arizona schools continue to be under-resourced. Without awareness of the resources available, students are more likely to delay enrolling in post-secondary pathways. This delay increases the risk of never receiving a degree or credential compared to students who enroll immediately after high school graduation.

In 2021, C2C convened more than 35 cross-sector leaders and launched the Post-Secondary Enrollment and Post-Secondary Completion Change Networks. Both Change Networks committed to taking collaborative action to increase student success. The Enrollment Change Network is increasing awareness and access to post-secondary support and resources, particularly for students who have historically had limited opportunity to utilize them. The Completion Change Network is working towards changing practices to ensure students have the knowledge and guidance to choose the most appropriate math pathways as they work towards their education and career goals. This strategy will help students avoid deficiencies upon high school graduation and the need for developmental courses.

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Recent Updates from Post-Secondary

Collaboration and Community Outreach to Promote Youth Resource Platform

C2C attended the AVID Community Night and presented to Pima Community College staff.

C2C Releases Report on Post-Secondary Pathways in Community

C2C releases “Post-Secondary Pathways: Learnings from the Community” report.

Post-Secondary Change Networks: A Year in Review

Successes and momentum in the Post-Secondary Change Networks.

Open House Bring YOTR Partners Together for Action

Youth on the Rise (YOTR) hosted an open house for partners on July 20.

Post-Secondary Pathways: Community Engagement

Earlier this year, Cradle to Career conducted listening sessions with community members to better understand the barriers to post-secondary pathways as part of the Post-Secondary’s Change Networks collaborative action.

Increasing Aligned Contributions for Post-Secondary Success

Cradle to Career’s Post-Secondary Change Networks are taking action to accelerate the elimination of opportunity gaps for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous youth.

Amplifying Community Voice Together

C2C has begun assessing community participation in efforts and informing a clearer vision of family and youth inclusion, racial justice, and community ownership across all outcome areas.

Youth on the Rise and Opportunity Youth

Youth on the Rise (YOTR), the Change Network for Re-Engagement of Opportunity Youth, takes collective action to reduce Opportunity Youth disconnection in Pima County. One of the main strategies of YOTR is the implementation of re-engagement centers. These centers are youth-centered, safe spaces where youth can receive individualized support from trusted adults and have access to other community resources and peer support. When this strategy was implemented about eight years ago, there was one location that served between 20 and 40 youths. In 2018, with funding and data support from C2C, Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona (Goodwill) launched their flagship re-engagement center near downtown Tucson and quickly opened a second location near South Tucson. Later this year, Goodwill will open two additional centers, strategically located to scale their re-engagement practices across Pima County. The re-engagement centers and many community partners that collaborate with Goodwill are meeting the immediate needs of youth to ensure they have access to resources, but even on a larger scale, this strategy is strengthening connections among providers that serve youth. These connections are crucial to put the onus on systems to be youth-ready, and to identify and address institutional inequities.

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Recent Updates from Opportunity Youth

Collaboration and Community Outreach to Promote Youth Resource Platform

C2C attended the AVID Community Night and presented to Pima Community College staff.

“Do You Hear Me Now?”: Opportunity Youth and Civic Engagement

United Youth Leadership Council changes the conversation around civic engagement.

C2C Announces the Launch of Youth Resource Platform

Digital tool is designed as a resource hub for young people in Southern Arizona.

Pima Youth Vote is Helping to Turn Out the Vote

United Youth Leadership Council relaunches Pima Youth Vote initiative.

C2C Staff Learns About Advance Care Planning

C2C staff attend workshop held by Arizona End of Life Care Partnership.

Check Out Photos from the YOTR Open House

More photos from the Youth on the Rise partner Open House.

C2C Staff and Youth Council Member Attend the 2022 Aspen Institute Convening

A UYLC member and C2C staff attended the 2022 Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Forum Convening in San Francisco from May 23-25.

Pima Youth Vote Initiative Relaunches

Cradle to Career and its United Youth Leadership Council (UYLC) are excited to announce the relaunch of Pima Youth Vote.

Shifting Power to Youth in Re-Engagement Practices

Goodwill’s model of hiring former Opportunity Youth to serve as Youth Outreach and Engagement Specialists for their programming has proven benefits.