Summer Happenings at the Rochester Public Library

Success in early education for children is the key component to a future grounded in opportunities, accomplishments and life success. However, the fact of the matter is that too many children are entering kindergarten already behind, and too many children are losing ground academically over the summer. Check out the Children’s Center Summer Reading Program offered by the Rochester Public Library. Continue reading

Help beat Summer Learning Loss with ReadyRosie


Every summer, low-income youth lose two to three months in reading skills and about two months in math skills in comparison to their higher-income peers. These reading and math losses add up. By 5th grade, summer learning loss can leave low-income students 2 ½ – 3 years behind their peers. Research shows that while gaps in student achievement remain relatively constant during the school year, the gaps widen significantly during the summer.  Quality summer learning programs will help put a stop to the learning loss that low-income children experience during the summer months, and parents can participate by helping to curb summer learning loss at home. Continue reading

ROC the Future hosts SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

Nancy Zimpher

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher gave a dynamic talk to our Conveners and community partners about the best ways to create collective impact. Zimpher talked about her experience with other Strive networks and communities across the country who are moving the needle on educational outcomes. She referenced the Commit! Partnership of Dallas and The Road Map Project of Seattle as sites that have achieved scale. Continue reading

Ajamu Kitwana to receive SPARK Award from Causewave Community Partners


Causewave Community Partners’ Annual Celebration event serves as a way to honor key volunteers and organizations who make their work possible and are making a real difference in Greater Rochester.

The Spark Award recognizes an individual under the age of 40 who has used their role as a Causewave Community Partner volunteer to serve as a catalyst for positive change, setting an example for others to follow. Ajamu, who serves as ROC the Future’s Vice Chair will receive the Spark Award on May 11th at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Continue reading

Dirk Hightower featured in the RBJ


Dirk Hightower celebrates 35 years at Children’s Institute this year and chairs our School Readiness CAN, which works to ensure more children begin school ready and able to learn. Under the School Readiness CAN is the GROW Rochester initiative that is working to integrate comprehensive developmental screenings for all of Rochester’s 3 year olds.

Read more about Dirk’s work here in his profile in the Rochester Business Journal.

Black Heritage Conference 2017

Black Heritage Conference 2

The City of Rochester’s Black Heritage Committee and the Rochester Teacher Center hosted the 4th Annual Black Heritage Conference with the theme “The Institute for Teaching & Learning, Informed by Cultural Knowledge.” The conference kicked off on Thursday, April 6th at School of the Arts with a keynote by Dr. Molefi K. Asante, Chair, Department of African and African American Studies at Temple University, entitled “Revolutionary Pedagogy: From Pedagogy of the Oppressed to Innovation.” On Friday, April 7th teachers and administrators from the Rochester City School District (RCSD) joined community members at the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center for a full day of learning and sharing. Attendee’s heard opening remarks from Jackie Campbell, ROC the Future Alliance Director and Jerome Underwood, Attendance CAN Chair. An interactive group activity was facilitated by Melanie Funchess which challenged the group to think about the ways they are engaged in community work. Dr. Asante then presented “How African Americans Launched Freedom in the Nation: Teaching Victorious Thought.” His presentation highlighted the “Essential Knowings” for being mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy, and responded to the difficulties of public education meeting the educational needs of children, their families, and the community. Continue reading

Website Update

Have you checked out our new website? Over the past few months we have refreshed our existing website to give it a new look, make navigation easier and keep you up to date on ROC the Future happenings. New to the website is a Convener member log in feature, where Conveners can log in and access a library of documents such as meeting agendas, minutes and reports. As we move forward in our communication efforts it is our intent to reduce the number of attachments in our email communication and drive traffic to our newly updated website. We hope that you find the website helpful and resourceful. Continue reading

 Cold Can’t Stop Us – Winter Attendance Challenge


We are nearing the end of our RCSD Cold Can’t Stop Us – Winter Attendance Challenge on April 28th and many students still have a chance to win a $500 Walmart gift card for their family.

While we are forging ahead with our attendance campaign one of the District’s biggest challenges to attendance is coming up quick. Spring Break is from April 14th to April 21st, but it can be tempting for parents to send their children back a day late.  Continue reading

Watch our Interview on City Wise – Cable Channel 12


Dr. Robin Hooper, Early Childhood Executive Director at the Rochester City School District and our Communications Specialist Jessica Lewis joined Tiana Stephens, host of CityWise to discuss the importance of parent engagement, and the newly launched ReadyRosie app which is an early childhood tool free to City parents of children ages 0-5.

The air schedule along with viewing information may be found HERE.

Rochester Receives 5th Annual Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Pacesetters Honors


48 communities including Rochester, New York have been recognized for achieving measurable progress in advancing early literacy.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading announced its 5th Annual Pacesetter Honors. Forty-eight communities across the nation including Rochester, New York have been recognized as Pacesetters for “leading by example” to solve one or more of the challenges that can undermine early literacy– school readiness, school attendance and summer learning.

“Recognizing the Pacesetters is our way of applauding the civic leaders, organizations and agencies that have joined forces to build brighter futures for the children in their communities,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “We are learning with them and from them what it takes to move the needle and close the gap.” Continue reading