“None of us alone can save the nation or the world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit ourselves to do so.” Dr. Cornel West 

Dear Friends, 

The signs of spring are present and emerging all around us, and our work at ROC the Future Alliance is filled with hope and expectation. Over the past few months, we have done a collective assessment of where we have been, where we are currently and where we plan to go as an alliance. As we have done this, we have embraced and amplified our theme for this year: Building Parent/Family Partner Power. We have also been stopping to reflect along the way to ensure that we are complying with our mandate of ensuring 50 percent or greater parent/family partner participation as we co-develop solutions to advance the educational outcomes of our communities’ children.  

Our Whole Child Initiative, which seeks to bring systems change and transformation to our healthcare and education systems to improve outcomes for families with children age 0-8, has made the successful transition from our first year of planning to an exciting time of implementation. As part of that initiative, we have seen strong commitments and investments from our system partners in philanthropy, healthcare and education.  

We have also been delivering C.O.R.E module 1 (Community Onboarding and Re-boarding Experience) sessions to many people in our community. C.O.R.E is a curriculum designed to support system partners, current and potential parent/family partners and our conveners by providing them with the information and concepts necessary to advance collective impact and systems change work. We are excited that for the first time C.O.R.E is being fully facilitated by our Parent/Family Partners and that more than 100 alliance members have completed module 1. Along the way, we have been receiving powerful feedback from participants to support our continuous improvement efforts as we continue to build and roll out C.O.R.E module 2.  

We also hosted our pre-launch of our funding committee, a collective of funding partners, parent/family partners and system partners working together to identify areas where we can increase investment and sustainability to improve cradle to career outcome efforts that are ongoing or emerging at the grassroots level in our community. This new committee will be able to immediately distribute $50,000 in funds to support work that is aligned with ROC the Future Alliance’s mission and will continue to work to ensure parent/family partner voice and perspective is centered in our local philanthropic sector.  

Finally, our Parent Engagement Collaboration Action Network (PECAN) and High School Graduation Outcomes Team (HSGOT) have been refining strategies and working with our conveners to hone in on the specific outcomes that will generate collaborative actions. The next step will be to track, assess and hold ourselves accountable to the collaborative actions we generate. All of this is building a strong foundation from which we will be able to more effectively advance our systems change and system transformation work.  

With all the exciting things happening across the alliance, now is the perfect time to connect with us to advance our mission. Whether you are a parent/family partner, system partner, convener or just want to support and advance our mission, we welcome the opportunity to (re)connect and find ways to align our work and efforts. Together, we will make a positive difference to change and transform systems and improve outcomes for all of Rochester’s youth and families from Cradle to Career.  

Until all the children are well, 

Brian Lewis