Achieve Hartford is an independent nonprofit organization founded by business and community leaders with the belief that strong schools lead to a strong city. As Mayors, Boards of Education and Superintendents change over time, Achieve Hartford has been the consistent voice pushing for high-quality education in Hartford since 2008.
Founded in 1894, Hartford’s Camp Courant is currently the oldest and largest free summer day program in the nation and provides six weeks of fun and learning for children ages 5 through 12 residing in the city of Hartford each summer. Hartford’s Camp Courant’s Early Learning Center serves the youngest campers, those ages 5 and 6. The Early Learning Program is designed with the goals of the Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading’s metrics. The goal of the Campaign is to increase the percentage of third graders who read on grade level to 60% by 2020.
Coalition for New Britain’s Youth
The Coalition for New Britain’s Youth is a citywide collaborative committed to improving the lives of New Britain’s youth, birth through age 24, and works to ensure they have what they need to be successful in school, career, and life. The Coalition serves as the go-to, backbone organization by creating a common agenda and a shared measurement system.
Combatting Chronic Absenteeism in Preschool
Aligned with the Consolidated School District of New Britain’s K-12 chronic absenteeism program, this project is a comprehensive approach to decreasing chronic absenteeism in preschool students.
CT After School Network
“Moving Toward Mastery” will build bridges between research and practice in the field of youth development. The project will engage state afterschool leaders in deeper learning and relevant research that results in programmatic and systems change, and working together with local researchers, help them build skills necessary to advance program quality and youth outcomes.
Connecticut Early Childhood Funders Collaborative
CT Early Childhood Funder Collaborative (ECFC) provides resources, both financial and intellectual, to help support the development and implementation of a comprehensive early childhood (birth to age 8) system in Connecticut.
Connecticut Radio Information Systems
The goal of CRISKids is to enhance knowledge and improve literacy for children who have visual, learning, physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities, or who are not reading at grade level.
Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading
The Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading has been selected to receive consulting and technical assistance from the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) to advance the community’s systems-level summer work with a focus on expanding the capacity of communities to coordinate key systems and leveraging existing infrastructures to increase access to quality summer programming. To support this work, NSLA will provide a research-based framework of community indicators and corresponding technical assistance. NSLA is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing academic achievement and opportunity gaps by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities.
Hartford Parent University
Hartford Parent University (HPU) is a parent created and run organization providing training to parents. HPU works with 300 parents annually to help them better navigate the Hartford School System so they can advocate for their children. HPU is about to launch the National Association of Parent Universities (NAPU) with outreach to cities and towns with parent programs. NAPU is envisioned as a collaborative structure to build community engagement and the ability of parents to lead systems change efforts.
Hartford Partnership for Student Success
The Hartford Partnership for Student Success (HPSS) provides governance, oversight, strategic direction, funding and other resources to the infrastructure and network of Hartford Community Schools and other student success initiatives. In 2007, Hartford Public Schools, the City of Hartford, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut formed the School- Community Partnership (SCP) and began the Community Schools model in Hartford. The first cohort of schools began in 2008 and grew to a total of 7 schools. As the agenda of SCP broadened, the name changed to HPSS. HPSS has expanded its membership to include other funders and stakeholders committed to advancing the partnership’s goals.
Hartford Performs was created with the support of the school system to foster student achievement in literacy and the 21st century skills they will need to thrive in both school and career. Hartford Performs is intended to be the district’s mechanism to ensure that all students have equal access to consistently high-quality arts offerings as part of their education. Their arts-integration programs reach students who are otherwise not engaged, and benefit all students by enhancing the critical and creative thinking processes that are required to understand, apply, and demonstrate learning in all subject areas.
Jumpstart focuses on preschool children in under-resourced communities because economically disadvantaged children often start kindergarten already behind in their early academic and social-emotional skills, and are more likely to stay behind. They are less likely to read at grade level by the 3rd grade, increasing chances of academic difficulties in later grades. Teams of 6-7 highly trained Jumpstart college student volunteers engage preschool children in existing early childhood settings in a series of adult-led, child-led, small-group, and large-group activities to foster language, literacy, and social-emotional skill development among the children.
Key Initiatives to Education (KITE)
KITE is a community collaborative dedicated to enhancing health, family engagement & support, and early care & education to Enfield’s youngest residents. KITE is supported by a variety of public and private community partners, who share the vision to ensure that Enfield’s children are healthy, safe and happy; live in thriving families; and are ready to learn the skills they need to succeed in school and flourish in the 21st century.
Middlesex Coalition for Children
The Coalition was founded in 1992 with a mission “to improve the lives of children in Middletown and Middlesex County”. Its central premise is that schools cannot alone ensure the success of children. MCC’s goal is to ensure that ALL children grow up in the conditions and have the experiences that are the foundation for adult success. The major work of the coalition is to serve as the catalyst for improvements to the system of child-serving agencies in Middletown and to connect those efforts and agencies to the larger statewide system.
New Britain Summer Learning Experiences
Now in the eighth year of programming, SEE began as an innovative idea to better engage student’s kindergarten through grades 3 in summer school. Targeting students performing in the lowest 20th percentile on standardized tests, SEE addresses the State Department of Education mandated summer school. Prior to SEE’s implementation, the District used a traditional classroom approach with less than adequate results. Switching to a community partnership model that aligns Community Based Organization programs to classroom curriculums SEE changed everything. In 2016, SEE received the prestigious New York Life Foundation Excellence Award through the National Summer Learning Association for excellence in accelerating academic achievement and helping students avoid summer learning loss. This success prompted the expansion to include students through middle school. The New Britain Summer Learning Experiences (NBSLE) are comprised of three separate age appropriate programs. The Summer Enrichment Experience (SEE) is the oldest and serves student from kindergarten through grade three, the CREATE program serving students in grades four and five (this is the first summer) and XTREME serving students in grades six through eight (this is the second summer).
Odd Fellows Playhouse
Oddbridge is a new program to help low and moderate income students achieve greater success. Students will engage in an hour of arts & resilience-building programming daily before regular after-school classes begin.
Parents and Voices Empowering New Britain (PAVE-NB)
Established in 2015, PAVE-NB is a parent-driven and parent-led grassroots organization that serves the community by helping parents and caregivers use their voices and tap into their power so that they have more influence in shaping the future of New Britain. PAVE-NB members believe that parents and caregivers are the best voice for informing policies that will work for families. Our core activities include: advocating for changes that improve parent-school relationships; determining ongoing and underlying issues on barriers that parents face in the community; providing ongoing training and enrichment opportunities for parents and leaders; and, improving parental participation and information of opportunities and events happening in the city and schools.
Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read partners with medical providers who engage families during routine pediatric check-ups. Trained doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud at least 20 minutes a day, starting in infancy. At each regular checkup from six months through five years of age, the child receives a new book to take home and build their home library. Following their medical provider’s advice, parents read aloud with their children more often and engage them in literacy activities like visiting the library and museums, extending the program’s impact far beyond the exam room. Research has shown that families served by Reach Out and Read have more books in the home, are more likely to read to their children, and are more likely to enjoy reading together.
Read to Grow
The Books for Babies (BFB) program provides new board books to over 58% of all newborns in the state and early literacy guides to their parents/caregivers through hospital partners.
The Discovery Center, now ReCenter, provides equity education programming for Greater Hartford students and adults through programs that support socio-emotional growth and skills to succeed in our multicultural society. They work in partnership with youth, families, schools, and communities to facilitate nurturing spaces where people can understand and challenge systemic racism and oppression. In all of their programs, they practice critical questioning, cultivate connection, and inspire action. Re-Center seeks to end institutionalized racism in K-12 education and support school districts as they transform their schools into equitable environments.
Regional Grade-Level Reading Marketing Communications Plan
The Hartford Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth are developing a multi-year regional marketing and communication plan. The purpose of developing and implementing this plan is to increase the capacity of the Initiatives to achieve their community goals around increasing the proportion of children who learn to read by the end of third grade.
Sheff Movement Coalition
Concern and outrage over segregated and unequal conditions in the Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven schools led to the formation of a statewide organization in the late 1980s, called the Connecticut Coalition for Educational Equity. The coalition brought together parents, educators, faith leaders, and community activists and also included several of the plaintiffs in the Sheff case. After the Sheff case was filed, the coalition became increasingly focused on the Hartford region. Community organizing and activism continued throughout the different stages of the case. In the early 2000s, as the Sheff remedy started to grow, the current Sheff Movement coalition emerged, based on two important insights: first, that parents and children in the growing two way inter-district system had become untethered from the traditional school district structures and needed a voice and a coalition focused on their interests, and second, that by bringing all of the stakeholders in the system together on a regular basis, we could keep an open flow of information, reach consensus and alignment on goals, and spot and address implementation issues at an early stage.
Teach for America
Teach for America (TFA) places highly qualified teachers into classrooms and provides wrap around support to the teacher for two years and beyond. The teachers are explicitly trained to teach and understand education through a critical consciousness lens; this culturally sustaining pedagogy approach supports teachers to make instructional decisions in their classrooms based on student and family needs and embedded in culture.
Community Resilience Collaborative of Middlesex County
The Community Resilience Collaborative of Middlesex County (CRC) is a community collaborative made up of skilled individuals who have a working knowledge about preventing trauma and promoting resiliency within systems. The CRC consists mostly of individuals working or living in Middlesex County, but is open to anyone regardless of where they work or reside. By leveraging existing collaborative partnerships, the CRC seeks to not only strengthen dialogue between local organizations and groups, but also promote awareness of trauma and resiliency. This is accomplished by offering forums designed to enlighten, transform and build relationships, while fostering solutions that focus beyond just treating the symptoms of trauma. Instead we aim to reduce and prevent trauma and violence.
The Village for Families and Children
Words Count is a prevention program for young children which uses parent interventions to develop language and early literacy skills. Through home visits, Literacy Coaches engage caregivers and child(ren) in play-based activities which stimulate early language, cognitive, and social development. Utilizing a structured curriculum, staff models for parents the importance of reading and oral language exposure to promote literacy development. Words Count provides parents with the knowledge and skills to be their child’s first teacher to ensure they reach age-appropriate developmental milestones and enter kindergarten with the skills needed to learn and grow socially and academically.
Third Sector Capital Partners
Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. (Third Sector), a nonprofit advisory firm, has a strong record of collaborating deeply with communities to re-write how they contract for social services, re-aligning public resources to move the needle on social problems. The organization works to bring together governments, community organizations, and private and philanthropic funders to unlock public sector innovation and develop new solutions to solve pressing challenges for those most in need. Third Sector is working with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) to support the agency’s transition towards a greater focus on child and family outcomes.
Trauma-Informed Practice Fund Grants
- My Sister’s Place
- New Britain Afterschool Social Emotional Learning Best Practices Initiative
- Covenant Preparatory School
- YWCA Hartford