MUSCATINE, Iowa–StriveTogether, a national network bringing communities together around data to make decisions and improve results for kids, announced Muscatine County as an awardee for the second round of its Strategic Initiatives grant program. Muscatine County joins six other communities that will focus on local leadership initiatives.
Aligned Impact Muscatine County (AIM) will create a staffing plan that identifies key roles needed to advance the partnership’s goals and develop innovative ways to fill talent needs across community partners. AIM works to achieve several goals:
- Every child enters kindergarten ready to learn.
- Every child succeeds academically through support in and out of school.
- Every student graduates from high school prepared for postsecondary education or career training.
- Every adult has completed the education and training to obtain a career that can sustain a family.
“Aligned Impact Muscatine County has ambitious goals for our community to improve outcomes for all students and families,” AIM Director Kim Warren said. “To reach these goals, we need to be innovative in the way our community partners work together, share data, align resources, and engage our community.”
“Local leadership is critical at a time when so many systems are clearly failing youth and families,” StriveTogether President and CEO Jennifer Blatz said. “StriveTogether is investing to ensure leaders and staff reflect the diversity of the communities they serve to better support the success of every child.”
The Strategic Initiatives Fund provides grants for targeted strategies to strengthen the seven capacities outlined in StriveTogether’s strategic plan, with a different capacity selected each year. The areas of focus this year include building organizational capacity; providing leadership development and career pathways for staff as well as local youth, parents and residents; and recruiting and onboarding for a key leadership role on the team or board. The other leadership initiatives include Boston Opportunity Agenda in Boston, Massachusetts; Building Our Future in Kenosha, Wisconsin; Together Central Oregon in Redmond, Oregon; Promise Partnership of Salt Lake City in Salt Lake City, Utah; Mission Promise Neighborhood in San Francisco, California; and Impact Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Strategic Initiatives Fund makes up part of StriveTogether’s Cradle to Career Community Challenge, which invests in efforts to improve equity and economic mobility for children and their families. Since launching the Community Challenge in 2018, StriveTogether has invested $16.6 million in 34 communities on projects that advance equity, improve results, and spread bold strategies to help students progress from kindergarten to postsecondary completion and a job.