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Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development Conference

April 30 @ 8:00 am - May 2 @ 5:00 pm

ICS Associate Director for Policy Research Keller Anne Ruble and ICS Senior Fellow Janice Gruendel, joined by Mandy Ableidinger of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, will present on “Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Initiative – A Collaborative Process for Championing Young Child and Family Success, Supported by the Research on What Works” on May 1 from 1:30-3:00pm.

The session will focus on:

What would be possible if…
  • We adopted shared, whole child, birth-to- age-eight measures that put young children and their families on a pathway to success?
  • We coordinated strategies to support children’s optimal development beginning at birth?
  • We aligned policies and practices that were rooted in how children develop?

Possibility is the hallmark of the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading (Pathways) initiative. This collaborative of more than 150 diverse partners is building on North Carolina’s history of innovation and success to tackle one of the greatest challenges currently facing the state: the overwhelming majority of our children are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade.

Reading well in the early grades predicts a child’s academic and career success, and third grade reading proficiency serves as a proxy measure for child and family well- being. Research shows that what works for improving third grade reading—a coordinated, whole-child, birth-through- age-eight approach that focuses on children’s health and development, supported and supportive families and communities, and high-quality early learning environments—is also what helps ensure overall successful outcomes for children and families.

Driving the Pathways initiative is the foundational belief that together we can realize greater outcomes for young children than any of us can produce on our own. Pathways stakeholders have co-created a shared Measures of Success Framework and are working to align policies and practices to put each child and family on a pathway to success.

In addition to introducing participants to the Pathways process and providing them with resources to support them in replicating the Pathways process in their own states and communities, the session will profile a powerful tool in the Pathways toolbox: a recently-released set of working papers that focus on 12 of the Measures of Success, as defined by the Pathways stakeholders. Each working paper, developed by the Institute for Child Success and the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, details why the measure matters for early literacy and child success, outlines how it is connected to other critical measures, and offers research-based policy, practice and capacity-building options that can impact the measure. While the working papers highlight several programs which have Blueprints certification, the presentation’s focus will be on sharing the rigorous Pathways process and how it can be adapted for other organizations working to synthesize research or use data to improve outcomes for young children.

The working papers have received national attention and coverage for succinctly summarizing research-heavy, technical topics for a non-academic audience and presenting an interconnected web of strategies to support child and family well- being. Participants will learn how the working papers are being used in North Carolina and beyond in data-based, birth-through- age-eight systems planning processes like Pathways.

More details and registration are available at: http://www.blueprintsconference.com/.


April 30 @ 8:00 am
May 2 @ 5:00 pm


Institute for Child Success