The Education Redesign Lab (EdRedesign) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has announced that the City of Poughkeepsie, NY recently joined a consortium of cities participating in the By All Means initiative.
EdRedesign launched By All Means in 2016 to rethink education and child development systems in partnership with local communities with the goal of addressing the iron-law correlation between a child’s socioeconomic status and their prospects for educational achievement.
Earlier this year, Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Eric Rosser and City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison formed the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet to develop a citywide cradle-to-career agenda for children, youth, and families.
Across the country, Children’s Cabinets are used by localities to bring together school districts, government agencies, child-serving community organizations and other local stakeholders to effectively collaborate and coordinate youth supports and services.
“We are so impressed with the commitment and good work in Poughkeepsie. Community leaders have meaningfully come together to prioritize children’s well-being. We’re thrilled to have Poughkeepsie as a member of Harvard’s By All Means initiative,” said Paul Reville, founding director of EdRedesign and former Massachusetts Secretary of Education.
As the newest member of By All Means, Poughkeepsie becomes the tenth community nationwide to be invited into the program, joining a select group of communities from across the country.
Poughkeepsie will receive a range of support from EdRedesign, including assistance to local staff of the cabinet; connecting Poughkeepsie leaders with national experts and social impact organizations; promoting exchanges with By All Means cities; and contributing to the documentation and evaluation of the city’s efforts through case studies and reports.
“Having access to such high-caliber resources will benefit the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet as we solidify our work, and as we broaden the community conversation that child development involves not only the education system but out-of-school time offerings,” said Rosser.
Rolison, Rosser and members of the Children’s Cabinet recently joined mayors, superintendents and representatives from their fellow By All Means cities for the initiative’s biannual convening, conducted virtually amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The conference centered on early childhood and cross-sector collaborations to support children and families during the response to COVID-19.
Rolison said, “These sessions were enlightening. We have been working with the school district on so many efforts, including communicating to the public about what is transpiring as a result of COVID-19.”
The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet was an outcome of the first-ever Poughkeepsie Summit at Harvard University, which convened more than 20 local civic leaders last year to discuss community development opportunities related to the city’s future. The summit was organized by a group of young professionals with deep ties to Poughkeepsie including Rob Watson Jr. ’09, Ed.M. ’18, James Watson, Kylynn Grier, and Kelsey Donohue.