The Wisconsin Partnership one of 16 winning initiatives that will tackle systems changes needed to help children and families living in poverty move up the economic ladder

MILWAUKEE, WI — The Wisconsin Partnership, which includes Milwaukee Succeeds, Higher Expectations for Racine County, Achieve Brown County, Building our Future, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, has received nearly $350,000 from StriveTogether, a national nonprofit working to bring communities together around data to make decisions and improve results for kids. The Wisconsin Partnership will use its grant award to test, learn, and spread strategies focused on advancing policy change within Wisconsin.

The grant award is part of StriveTogether’s Cradle to Career Community Challenge, which seeks to create local change to enable economic mobility. The program’s goal is to strengthen and align the many systems, such as education, employment, health and housing that shape opportunity for children and families in America.

“This project will bring more voices to the initiative, create awareness around the work Milwaukee Succeeds is doing, and ultimately change the way education in Milwaukee and Wisconsin operates,” said Danae Davis, executive director of Milwaukee Succeeds.

“With everyone at the table, rowing together in the right direction, the engagement and commitment to the lives of our children is very clear,” said Jackie Herd-Barber, Greater Milwaukee Foundation board member and Milwaukee Succeeds co-chair. “Systems change is an obtainable goal when we work together as a community to fight for policy change and equitable outcomes for our kids.”

Milwaukee Succeeds is a communitywide education initiative launched and embedded at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation with leadership representing schools, businesses, government, civic organizations, nonprofits and advocates, all working in collaboration to improve learning outcomes for all children, cradle to career.

The Wisconsin Partnership will focus on addressing mobilization of systems-level barriers that prevent families from accessing high-quality early care and education through community engagement.

Through the Community Challenge, more than $20 million over the next three years will fund projects across the country that aim to shift public policy and engage the systems needed to help students progress from kindergarten to postsecondary completion and finding a job.

The Wisconsin Partnership’s grant is part of the Community Challenge’s Strategic Initiatives Fund, which supports projects working to advance policy change for children by engaging policy leaders, leading grassroots advocacy and coordinating efforts within state and local coalitions. The Wisconsin Partnership has one of seven policy-focused projects being awarded grants of up to $350,000 per year for three years.

Communities in the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network were eligible to apply for the Community Challenge.

“Education is key to a strong economy, and every child should have the opportunity to achieve his or her fullest potential, but existing systems don’t always support the success of students, particularly students of color and those from low-income families,” StriveTogether President and CEO Jennifer Blatz said. “Using the common language of data, we can create better, more equitable systems to improve outcomes for major milestones in every child’s life. Our Cradle to Career Community Challenge will enhance and expand the real, lasting results underway across our 70 communities.”

About Milwaukee Succeeds

Milwaukee Succeeds refers to two things: first, a partnership that unites over 300 Milwaukee organizations to bring lasting change to the way education works for children in Milwaukee. It is also a small Backbone staff that mobilizes, facilitates and supports the partnership. Our partnership includes educators, community leaders, philanthropic organizations, business, youth-serving organizations, parents and political leaders. Every sector has a role to play in educating our children. Through collective-impact that focuses on equity and data-driven continuous improvement, our community can and will do better.

About StriveTogether

StriveTogether leads a national movement of 70 communities to get better results in every child’s life. We coach and connect partners across the country to close gaps by using local data, especially for children of color and low-income children. Communities using our proven approach have seen measurable gains in kindergarten readiness, academic achievement and postsecondary success. The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network reaches 10.4 million students, involves 10,800 organizations and has partners in 30 states and Washington, D.C.


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