The fifth and final building block in Expect More Arizona’s framework for a world-class education is “Communities Working Together.” In order to ensure every Arizona student is prepared for success in college and career, Arizona’s business and community leaders, elected leaders, voters, educators, parents and students must work together to support education in our state.
There are many examples of individuals from different sectors coming together to collaborate and create strategic partnerships around education. In the area of early childhood education, First Things First has 31 Regional Partnership Councils that are made up of volunteers from the non-profit, business, community and education sectors who work together to determine what children, ages 0-5, in their area need to arrive at school healthy and ready to succeed. The Regional Partnership Councils ensure that decisions are made at a local level and the collaborative nature of the work also helps ensure that different perspectives are heard and cooperative solutions are developed.
For example, the Coconino Regional Partnership Council serves a remote region across Northern Arizona. The territory includes the Paiute, Havasupai and Hopi Tribal areas as well as Flagstaff, Williams and surrounding communities. The Council includes representatives from early care and education, health, K-12 education, faith-based community, business, philanthropy and tribal nations.
The partnership and collaboration that exists helps ensure a strong commitment to early childhood education as well as a long-term commitment to Arizona’s children. They are a true example of “Communities Working Together.”
Here are 4 things you can do to help foster collaboration and partnership toward a world-class education system in your local community:
- Sign Up – Share the Expect More Arizona movement with your friends and colleagues. Encourage them to sign up at ExpectMoreArizona.org.
- Study Up – Find out how your local school is doing by looking up the A-F letter grade.
- Speak Up – Encourage your business or employer to make education a priority by partnering with a local school or offering scholarships to students who are pursuing college or career training.
- Show Up – Contact your local school or education-supporting non-profit and ask how you can volunteer. For example, ask if there are mentoring programs, students who need tutoring or opportunities to help in classrooms or get involved in your Regional Partnership Council and lend your voice to the needs of Arizona’s youngest children.
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