One of the ways The Patterson Foundation’s maintains alignment with the people, organizations and communities involved in its initiatives is by scheduling a “Strategy Refresh.” Initiative participants share ideas and learn from each other evaluating progress, exploring opportunities for greater focus, and discussing mid-course adjustments to enhance impact. So often we set a course, begin our work, put our head down and execute! Strategy Refreshes are a way to bring all relevant parties together to pause, reflect, and redirect as needed to amplify success.
The Patterson Foundation and the Herald-Tribune Media Group engaged in a Strategy Refresh about SPIRE CoLab. Launched in spring 2016, SPIRE CoLab is a new and innovative initiative between journalism and philanthropy to create compelling media that inspire and inform communities to take action on relevant social issues. SPIRE's focus is on leveraging the work of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR). The SCGLR's aim is that more children are reading on grade-level by the end of third grade.
Why is it important for children to read on grade-level by the end of third grade? Because children who fail to read on grade level at an early age also fail to graduate from high school. In the Manatee-Sarasota region, 40 percent of children are unable to read on grade-level by the end of third grade.
How can we achieve improvements in our children’s reading proficiency? By focusing on the Campaign’s five solution areas: school readiness, attendance, summer learning, family/parental engagement, and health.
How can SPIRE CoLab contribute to affecting positive change? By creating content, connections, and resources that inspire communities to drive change, both locally and beyond. SPIRE stands for: Syndicate, Partner, Innovate, Resolve, and Engage.
During the recent Strategy Refresh, the Herald-Tribune and The Patterson Foundation shared the ideals that led to establishing SPIRE CoLab and reviewed what had been accomplished since its inception. A productivity report was shared with data collected from the SPIRECoLab website, Facebook posts, Likes, Tweets, Retweets, and so on. The group reviewed SPIRE's inroads to syndicate, partner, innovate, resolve, and engage.
Listening to each participant’s input, the group shared observations and discussed its intentions. To take SPIRE CoLab to the next level, the group focused on answering the question: Where can we really have impact in the next 6 months, by June 2017? Responses that emerged include:
- Further tie SPIRE stories and social media with SCGLR calendared events
- Bring a high degree of focus to health, one of the SCGLR pillars
- Spread SPIRE's contributions to other Campaigns around the nation
- Create action around SPIRE's mission that leverages and augments the work of the SCGLR
- Create one story with national exposure
- Further increase the sharing of information between the SCGLR and SPIRE staff at the Herald-Tribune
Learning and sharing together sets the stage for enhanced alignment to amplify SPIRE’s potential impact and support the aspirations of the community to dissolve the profoundly negative consequences of our children not learning to read.
To contact Deborah: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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