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Northfield Promise receives StriveTogether Opportunity Fund Grant

January 28, 2020

Northfield Promise is one of four cradle-to-career partnerships selected nationwide

Northfield Promise, a cradle-to-career initiative serving youth in Northfield, Minn., has received up to $350,000 per year over three years from StriveTogether, a national network working to bring communities together around data to make decisions and improve results for kids. Northfield Promise will use its grant award to improve kindergarten readiness, third-grade literacy, high school graduation and postsecondary completion for Northfield youth.

The grant award is part of StriveTogether’s Cradle to Career Community Challenge, which invests in efforts to improve equity and economic mobility for children and their families. The Opportunity Fund extends the work of communities by focusing on deeper systems-level change. This grant is awarded to communities that have demonstrated progress changing systems like education, housing, health and transportation to improve opportunities for every child.

“We are incredibly grateful to StriveTogether for this investment in our community,” said Zach Pruitt, Director of the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, which serves as the backbone organization for Northfield Promise. “With the tremendous level of community engagement and commitment of partners, we know we can make significant strides to close disparity gaps and improve outcomes for all Northfield youth.”

As a result of targeted, collaborative solutions, Northfield has seen exciting progress in recent years, including an 11 percentage point increase in third-grade reading proficiency over the past two years and 44% more 3-years-olds completing early childhood screening last year.

Northfield is one of four new communities nationwide being awarded up to $350,000 from the Opportunity Fund per year for three years. The others include: Promise Partnership of Salt Lake in Salt Lake City, Utah; The Road Map Project in South Seattle and South King County; and UP Partnership in San Antonio, Texas. This brings the total number of communities with an Opportunity Fund grant to 13.

Since launching the Community Challenge last year, StriveTogether has invested $14 million in 30 communities for projects that advance equity, improve results and spread bold strategies to help students progress from kindergarten to postsecondary completion and a job.

“At StriveTogether, our mission is to help communities transform how they serve youth and families,” StriveTogether President and CEO Jennifer Blatz said. “We launched the Cradle to Career Community Challenge because we refuse to settle for a world in which a child’s ability is dictated by race, ethnicity or poverty. This work is more urgent than ever, and we are excited to support four more communities in creating lasting change for youth and families.”

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