Make A Donation
Read The Data
Make A Donation
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.
Recent Updates from Kindergarten Readiness
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
Recent Updates from Early Grade Literacy
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.
Recent Updates from Middle School Math
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.
Recent Updates from Post-Secondary
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.
Recent Updates from Opportunity Youth