June 10 marked the quarterly meeting of the Promise Partnership Regional Council. The PPRC members lead K-12 systems, community organizations, business, and government agencies that play key roles in our ability to change the odds for all of the children and families in our Promise Partnership region.
At the meeting, which was hosted in the beautiful Center for Arts and Media at Salt Lake Community College’s South City Campus, 33 participants chose one of the PPRC’s seven results to work on: kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading, 8th grade math, college readiness, college completion, health access, and financial stability. With our Baseline Report as a resource, we worked in small groups to begin to set regional targets and to refine our indicators related to health and financial stability. We left having made commitments for ourselves and for our organizations that will accelerate progress toward our seven bold results.
For example, the businesses, government, and community organizations, as well as colleges, universities, and school districts in the group who focused on coordinating efforts so that all students access and complete college, agreed that our four School Districts would meet to identify one or more target goals around college completion. They also agreed to revisit the ways in which we measure college access and completion.
The PPRC members who chose to discuss helping all children and families be financially stable first agreed that school mobility is crucial (which is the current focus of our collaborative work to help families achieve financially stability). Recognizing that poverty’s ubiquity throughout our communities and region creates conditions that make it hard to achieve academic success or optimal health, they agreed that we need also to align efforts to help families in the areas of housing, jobs, saving and asset development, and volunteered to coordinate our resources to impact indicators related to those areas. Several of the participants agreed to share data in order to better understand opportunities in the region. They also agreed to meet again, to decide the optimal setting to coordinate resources and programs related to housing, jobs, and saving and asset development.
As the co-chair of the Promise Partnership Regional Council, I want to thank our members (and the dozens of individuals who work for their agencies and carry out the PPRC’s vision) for caring about each and every child in our region, for embracing our six bold goals, for working together differently, and for embracing the complexity that comes with aligning strategies, staff, and resources in innovative ways. The PPRC gives me hope — hope that we can fulfill on our promise to change the odds for every child and hope for a better Utah.