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Opinion: Norwalk ACTS director’s weekly shout outs

Norwalk ACTS staff attended StriveTogether’s national Convening – Be the Change: Getting Results for Every Child. (Norwalk ACTS)

Anthony Allison

Anthony Allison is the executive director of Norwalk ACTS.

Huge Shout Out to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, who have pledged an investment of up to $60 million over six years from the Ballmer Group to support StriveTogether’s Partner Network, which includes Norwalk ACTSand 69 other community organizations across the country, working to improve the lives of children and youth from cradle to career.

StriveTogether made the announcement at its annual Convening, Be the Change: Getting Results for Every Child, held in Phoenix last week. Sponsors of the conference included The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Here to Here, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Helios Education Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation and Vulcan. 

During the announcement, Steve Ballmer commended on the work of the Network saying, “There are a few other organizations out there that do this work, but no one with the same capacity as StriveTogether.”

The $60 million investment will be used to launch a nationwide community challenge fund designed to accelerate and strengthen StriveTogether’s efforts in support of its network partners.

The StriveTogether Network impacts over 8 million children and operates in 31 states and Washington, D.C. StriveTogether uses a nationally recognized Collective Impact framework to guide community partners toward the improvement of educational outcomes and the expansion of opportunities for every child. StriveTogether communities, including Norwalk, use local data to identify gaps by race, gender and other demographics to understand the needs of the most marginalized and vulnerable students. Partnerships use these findings as evidence to make decisions in real time, improve and scale practices and target resources to support what works.

As a Network Member, Norwalk ACTS’ work aligns directly with the seven core capacities StriveTogether has identified as essential to improving the strength and effectiveness of local community partnerships: 

  • building the local leadership and talent pipeline
  • improving access to data and information
  • supporting practice improvement
  • broadening community engagement
  • influencing policy, advocacy, and community mobilization
  • ensuring that local partnerships have sustainable resources
  • working toward equitable implementation of the above strategies

To learn more about Norwalk ACTS and the work of its members in our community, visit   NorwalkACTS.org.

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