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EdRedesign and Harlem Children’s Zone visit Poughkeepsie, learn about ‘cradle-to-career’ efforts

Group photo.

The EdRedesign and Harlem Children's Zone teams visit Poughkeepsie, New York. Photo courtesy of EdRedesign

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Leaders from the Education Redesign Lab (EdRedesign) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the William Julius Wilson Institute at Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) visited Poughkeepsie, NY and the Dutchess County region to learn more about their efforts to create cradle-to-career systems of opportunity for children, youth, and families.

Paul Reville, faculty director of EdRedesign and Geoffrey Canada, Ed.M. ’75, founder and president of HCZ are meeting with Dutchess County and City of Poughkeepsie community leaders — including Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, and Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Eric Jay Rosser — to learn more about the city and county’s ambitious work toward supporting children from birth through to college and career.

“I am thrilled to see the impressive headway Poughkeepsie and its Children’s Cabinet have made in prioritizing children’s well-being in the last two years since joining the By All Means initiative. I am excited about exploring future synergies and collaborations,” said Reville.

Dutchess County is partnering with a local coalition of community institutions and stakeholders that includes the City of Poughkeepsie and the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet to build a new Youth Opportunity Union (YOU) — a unique hub for young residents that will offer recreational programs, links to a host of social services, and summer enrichment programs among others.

“We at Harlem Children’s Zone know that the adoption of comprehensive, cradle-to-career models is key to advancing social and economic mobility in under-resourced neighborhoods,” said Canada. “I look forward to this visit and to supporting the development of such a model in Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County.”

The YOU will also serve as home to the county’s Path to Promise initiative, which aims to strengthen and harness community assets to ensure all children in Dutchess County realize their full potential.

“We appreciate the interest from around the nation that our innovative Path to Promise and forthcoming Youth Opportunity Union have garnered, and we look forward to welcoming the Education Redesign Lab and Harlem Children’s Zone to glean insight from their respective leaders,” said Molinaro. “Dutchess County is dedicated to ensuring every child has the assets needed to succeed, and we look to this discussion and future collaborations to meet that end and bring about positive change in the lives of our children.”

“We are excited about this visit and what it means to the City of Poughkeepsie and our ongoing efforts to improve opportunities for youth,” said Rolison. “The city has endeavored to provide a nurturing environment for our youth by making grants available for youth programming, by joining forces with the City School District to start the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet and by working as one of the partners to bring new life to the former YMCA site. We greatly appreciate the support we are receiving from the Education Redesign Lab and look forward to our meeting with the Harlem Children’s Zone.”

The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet has been supported by EdRedesign since 2020 when it formally joined the By All Means Communities of Practice .