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A Path to Good-paying Careers for all Michiganders

December 1, 2019

This report by Michigan Future, Inc., offers detailed ideas on how state policymakers can implement the placemaking recommendations in its previous state policy report: A Path to Good-paying Careers for all Michiganders: A 21st Century State Policy Agenda. As with that report, Michigan Future's goal is to offer ideas that will engage readers in a conversation about how Michigan can meet the economic challenges of the future.This report was published by Michigan Future, Inc. with support, in part, by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

Renewing America's Economic Promise Through Older Industrial Cities

April 1, 2018

An in-depth analysis of the key attributes of dozens of older industrial cities across the country, this report argues that bottom-up efforts to better leverage their advantages, and address their disadvantages, can help achieve improved economic growth, prosperity, and inclusion for all.This report was published by the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings with support, in part, by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

Kids Matter Here: An Analytic Review of the 10-Year Good Neighborhoods Initiative

August 18, 2017

Launched in 2006, the Skillman Foundation's ten-year, $100 million Good Neighborhoods Initiative succeeded in boosting education and community capacity in six neighborhoods, a comprehensive evaluation by the foundation finds. Based on nine individual evaluations focused on the initiative's efforts to improve school quality, strengthen community and civic leadership, support youth development, and improve safety, the report, Kids Matter Here: An Analytic Review of the 10-Year Good Neighborhoods Initiative, looks at how the initiative evolved through various phases, including community planning (2006-09), readiness and capacity building (2008-11), and implementation (2011-16); what it accomplished; and the lessons it offers. According to the report, the place-based initiative helped create networks of community leaders with improved capacity to influence local conditions on behalf of children; awarded more than eight hundred small grants to community leaders; and helped forge a cross-sector coalition focused on revamping financial and structural elements of Detroit's educational system. Indeed, between 2007 and 2015 high school graduation rates in the six neighborhoods targeted by the initiative increased from 65 percent to 80 percent, a much larger jump than for the city as a whole. Lessons for philanthropy include the importance of combining deep community engagement with investment in broader policy and systems change; recognizing, reinforcing, and renewing cultural values and norms guiding the work; investing in data and outcome measurement; and focusing on creating greater accountability by stakeholders.

Skillman Foundation Safety Strategy Review Executive Summary

August 5, 2016

Understanding that children cannot thrive if they do not feel safe in the places they live, play and study, in 2012, the Skillman Foundation added a safety strategy. The Foundation's investment in strategies and activities intended to increase safety is part of its overall investment in building pathways to success for Detroit's children. The Foundation also recognizes that movements toward safety were taking place among residents, community development practitioners and other stakeholders prior to 2012. These activities were key and provided the groundwork which informed, as well as worked alongside, the Foundation's investments in safety.With the goal of documenting the Foundation's safety grantmaking strategies and examining how these strategies are playing out in the target neighborhoods, the Skillman Foundation retained JFM Consulting Group (JFM), a Detroit-based planning, evaluation, and research firm to conduct a review of its safety strategy for the years between 2012 and 2015. As mentioned above, Skillman had not instituted an official safety component until 2012, however safety efforts had taken place prior to this time. This report provides the results of that review after 2012, as well as some context on safety efforts outside of the Foundation's direct investments.

Strengthening Grassroots Community Leadership in Detroit

July 28, 2016

Community Connections is a resident-centered grant program working to strengthen civic engagement and grassroots leadership in six Detroit neighborhoods: Brightmoor, Chadsey Condon, Cody Rouge, North End, Osborn, and Southwest. It awards grants of $500 to $5,000 to local projects that mobilize residents' energies to improve opportunities and conditions for youth. Community Connections was launched by the Skillman Foundation in 2006 as part of the Foundation's Good Neighborhoods initiative, and is operated by Prevention Network, a statewide organization experienced in running resident-focused small grants programs. Since 2012 it has also received major support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.Rooted in the conviction that local groups and leaders are essential if neighborhoods are to create safe environments where children and youth can grow up successfully, the program is guided by a four-fold impact framework. At its heart is a commitment to expand residents' civic engagement. Through its project support and related learning opportunities, Community Connections helps strengthen community leadership in these neighborhoods. Projects offer positive youth development opportunities to children and teens in these neighborhoods. And some projects contribute to systems change by connecting with kids in ways that larger institutional systems currently miss, by helping to create alternatives to those established institutional systems, and by engaging in neighborhood planning, policy advocacy and other efforts to reform those systems.

Community Leadership: Maximizing Returns- Investing in Nontraditional Leaders

July 1, 2016

This report is a part of Kids matter Here: An Analytic Review of the 10-year Good Neighborhoods Initiative. The Skillman Foundation's Good Neighborhoods Initiative was a $100-million commitment to six Detroit neighborhoods, spanning from 2006-2016. To best understand the outcomes of the long-term neighborhood-based work, the Foundation worked with a variety of evaluators, residetns, stakeholders, grant partners, staff, Trustees and community allies to form a series of analyses and dialogues.The goals of the Analytic Review are to synthesize what the decade of work has accomplished, inform decisions about the Foundation's work going forward, and build and share knowledge locally and nationally.

Smart Collaboration At the Grassroots Level: Emerging Lessons from Detroit's Community Connections Program

June 1, 2014

In 2013, the Community Connections resident grants program in Detroit conducted a collaborative inquiry into the topic of smart collaboration among grassroots groups and others working for youth development and community improvement. The inquiry probed the experience and perspectives of 13 Community Connections grantee groups known for effective and strategic collaboration. Leaders of these groups were interviewed and engaged in reflective circle conversations, and project reports and other documents from these groups were reviewed. The inquiry team included four current or former members of the Community Connections Changemakers leadership panel plus three consultants. It was guided by Touchstone Center for Collaborative Inquiry, the program's learning and evaluation partner.1 Learnings from this inquiry are intended primarily for grassroots leaders who want to become more effective collaborators. They also may be useful to larger organizations that want to collaborate with grassroots organizations, and to funders, policy makers and intermediaries that want to promote improved collaboration with grassroots groups.

Excellent Schools Detroit: 2012 School Report Card

February 27, 2012

Ranks elementary, middle, and high schools -- including public, charter, and private schools -- in the Detroit area by neighborhood, based on reading and math test scores averaged over a three-year period.

What's Trust Got To Do With It?

December 16, 2011

Based on focus groups with parents, explores why school turnaround options such as closing failing schools and replacing principals and staff provoke community opposition. Outlines ways for leaders to build trust, address concerns, and engage parents.

Innovation 2.0: Grantmaking to Transform America's Education Systems

June 1, 2011

As social and technological forces reshape the environment, the educational landscape is being similarly transfigured as parents, employers, policymakers and students grow impatient with incremental efforts to reform a broken system. Too often such efforts have proven both slow and inadequate to the evolving needs of learners: Innovations have been inequitably distributed, promising solutions have been difficult to implement at scale. Yet the signs of widespread change are real, and there is little doubt that transformation has begun.

2011 School Report Card: The Best and Worst Results for Detroit Students

January 13, 2011

Ranks elementary, middle, and high schools in the Detroit area including public, charter, and private schools by reading and math test scores. Lists questions parents should ask when visiting a school and resources for further information.

Mentoring: A Synthesis of P/PV's Research: 1988-1995

September 19, 1996

This is an essential handbook for anyone interested in mentoring. It presents the evidence and conclusions that P/PV compiled from over a decade of research on mentoring programs in five crucial areas:Can participating in mentoring programs make important and observable changes in the attitudes and behaviors of at-risk youth?Are there specific practices that characterize effective mentoring relationships?What program structures and supports are needed to maximize "best practices" among mentors?Can mentoring be integrated into large-scale youth-serving institutions?Are there large numbers of adults with enough flexible time and emotional resources to take on the demands of mentoring at-risk youngsters?The report also includes as an appendix the executive summaries of eleven P/PV reports on mentoring.