1805, 2016

Commit! Team Welcomes Taylor Toynes, South Oak Cliff Community Impact Associate

By |May 18th, 2016|General, News, Partner|0 Comments

The Commit! team is excited to announce the addition of Taylor Toynes to fill the role of Community Impact Associate. In this position, Taylor will be focused on building lasting strategies to improve early childhood outcomes in Dallas’ South Oak Cliff community through neighborhood and family engagement. A native of South Oak Cliff, Taylor brings a deeply personal commitment to the students and families in the community where he was born and raised. He has served as a 4th grade teacher at W.W. Bushman Elementary School and as the Urban Specialist at Sarah A. Zumwalt Middle School, while also organizing [...]

605, 2016

Dallas ISD and DCCCD Early College High School Expansion: A Focus on Postsecondary Access and Completion

By |May 6th, 2016|College Access|0 Comments

Some could say that Dallas County is truly a “tale of two counties." While growth in jobs and housing values have been in top rankings nationally, Dallas County leads Texas’ five largest counties in both the number of adults with less than a high school degree (23%) and those with some college experience but no diploma (20%). The underinvestment in substantial portions of our population is hindering the economic growth of our community while contributing to a society of “haves and have nots.” More is needed to reach the Partnership’s 60x30 Texas state goal, that 60% of adults ages 25-34 [...]

105, 2016

Early Matters Dallas Update

By |May 1st, 2016|Early Childhood, Newsletter|Comments Off on Early Matters Dallas Update

Joint Policy Update The Early Matters Dallas and Houston Policy and Legislative Committees held a joint meeting in May to prepare for the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session by developing a policy agenda aligned to the core principles of both communities. During the meeting the committees agreed to advocate for the following: Sustaining HB4 high-quality Pre-K grant funding at $118 million per year and ideally, expand funding to incorporate full day Pre-K via formula funding for those districts that choose to offer it. Authorizing the Dallas County Community College District to offer a 4 year B.A. early childhood teaching degree to [...]

105, 2016

Doing More with Data

By |May 1st, 2016|Data, Newsletter|Comments Off on Doing More with Data

This time last year, a group of 14 partner organizations were wrapping up the inaugural Data Learning Cohort, supported by The Commit! Partnership and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. In an effort to build even greater capability with data, The Commit! Partnership and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas are teaming up with Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) to bring their Data Driven Decision-making (D3) Institute to the education space! The D3 Institute is an intensive, 9-month commitment that includes a series of workshops along with one-on-one coaching focused on using data and evaluation to inform organizational decision-making. CFT previously [...]

105, 2016

Summer Learning Takes Off

By |May 1st, 2016|Early Literacy, Early Math, Newsletter|Comments Off on Summer Learning Takes Off

Summertime is when the opportunity gap grows widest; some children have access to summer learning experiences while far too many do not. And these hours of learning loss add up, year after year. In Dallas, however, there is a growing movement to reverse this trend. Powered by Dallas City of Learning, hundreds of partners are providing in-person and online educational experiences to our most underserved neighborhoods. The Tackle Summer Slide initiative, piloted last summer in South Oak Cliff, is part of this movement focused specifically on preventing summer reading loss among students entering grades K-3. The initiative combines small group [...]

105, 2016

“For Oak Cliff” Back to School Festival

By |May 1st, 2016|College Access, Early Childhood, Newsletter|Comments Off on “For Oak Cliff” Back to School Festival

Organized by Taylor Toynes, Community Impact Associate, the 2nd annual For Oak Cliff Back to School Festival will take place on August 13, 2016 at Glendale Park in South Oak Cliff. With the support of partners United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Texas Instruments, Dallas Parks and Rec and Celanese, the goal is to impact over 2,000 children and families within the Oak Cliff community. Last year’s inaugural Festival impacted over 1,000 students by providing them lunch, school supplies, uniforms, and raffle prizes. This community-wide event will again jump start a fantastic 2016-17 school year by empowering and supporting community members [...]

105, 2016

Teachers Drive Family Engagement through Home Visit Project

By |May 1st, 2016|Newsletter|Comments Off on Teachers Drive Family Engagement through Home Visit Project

In July 2013, Stand for Children launched the Texas Educator Network, a grassroots organization that provides public school educators a platform to use their unique and valuable perspective to inform and shape key decisions, both at the local and state levels, which affect educators and students. In Fall 2014, 40 Dallas educators participated in a yearlong fellowship and identified parent engagement as a key to student success. From there, members from the Educator Network and a group of Dallas ISD staff, teachers and community organizations connected with the national Parent Teacher Home Visit Project – which advances a simple concept: [...]

105, 2016

Community Rallying Around 0-3 Brain Building

By |May 1st, 2016|Early Childhood, Newsletter|Comments Off on Community Rallying Around 0-3 Brain Building

Aristotle once theorized that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is how the notion of synergy was created; it also forms the basis of collective impact and the priorities of The Commit! Partnership: by working together, we are able to achieve greater outcomes than we would as individuals in isolation. Funders are an active part of this formula. This past year, 100 foundations and funders supported 40 cross-sector partners as they engaged over 2,800 parents and 4,500 children in brain building activities. This synergy around the importance of and investment in early childhood education pays [...]

2004, 2016

Text Messaging Bridges “Summer Melt,” Increases College Enrollment

By |April 20th, 2016|Bright Spots|0 Comments

Given the enormous social and economic benefits, the Commit! Partnership is dedicated to increasing postsecondary participation and completion rates in Dallas County – particularly among low-income and first generation college going students. Yet even for our most engaged and prepared students, the summer after high school graduation can be difficult to navigate. Graduates don’t have access to their counselor and are not yet connected to a college campus. With these challenges, many Dallas County seniors, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, fall off track, or “melt,” at some point during their senior year or during the summer and do not enroll [...]

3003, 2016

Attendance Outliers: How Do We Get Kids to School?

By |March 30th, 2016|Bright Spots|0 Comments

Improving student attendance is an essential and cost-effective, but often overlooked, strategy for ensuring our students are on-track to learn and succeed. Nationwide, as many as one out of every 10 students is chronically absent – meaning they miss 10 percent or more of all school days – nearly a month of learning time lost. Across all Dallas County schools, those with an average attendance rate at or above 97.3% (the top third) had a higher percentage (+16% more) of students performing on grade level in reading and math in 3rd and 4th grade, respectively, compared to schools with an [...]