I wanted to share some great feedback from our quarterly Leadership Council meeting last Wednesday. If you want to get a snapshot of this amazing Council, look at many of their wonderful faces below:
As we went around the room, Co-chair Mike Lovell asked each person to share their hopes for Milwaukee Succeeds.
Here are some comments: “close the equity gap,” “help black kids succeed,” “by 2020, all children punching above their weight in 3rd grade reading,” “scale up and sustain excellent programs for students,” “eliminate barriers,” “become the driver of change for kids of color,” “add self-esteem,” “build this system of efficiency so all children are successful,” and “make Milwaukee Succeeds a household name.”
It was inspiring. It has taken a tremendous amount of time, talent, resources and investment to align the community under Milwaukee Succeeds, and we’re just beginning. It was wonderful that everyone in the room revealed their commitment. Collective Impact is not an easy or quick fix. There is a long journey before we see evidence of systems change. However, Collective Impact is the game changer we have sought for so long in Milwaukee, and the cost of doing nothing is dire for the future of all Milwaukee children.
A highlight of our Leadership Council meeting was the presentation on Goal 4 – our focus on the social, emotional, physical and mental health aspects of our children’s lives – and why it’s the critical issue for improved academic and life success for kids. Three wonderful women presented the goals, objectives, accomplishments, and next steps for Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) in Milwaukee Succeeds.
Denisha Tate, (pictured left), Chief Strategic Officer at Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, shared the four focus areas of SEL: in school, after school, for adults, and for the broader community. As she said so eloquently, “for any negative story you read or watch in the media, when you drill down to the root cause, you will discover an unhealthy SEL at the core.”
Desiree Cocroft, speaker and facilitator for Destination Life, Inc. updated how the Community and Social Support Network developed four areas of research and recommendations to improve the SEL of youth and adults in Milwaukee. She shared common assessments and outcomes for each audience:
Finally, Jenny Toutant, Education Director from the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, shared how the Rep is implementing SEL in their education programming, serving over 20,000 students at approximately 240 schools each year. By aligning their programming with Milwaukee Succeeds goals, they have focused outcomes on three main goals: Literacy, Social Emotional Learning, and Theater Appreciation.
- 96% of the students they work with reported that the program positively influenced their relationship skills.
- 95% of the students reported that the program impacted their social awareness, specifically in their ability to empathize.
Great work everyone!
I want to make one more point. Although this weekly message has the subject line “Hey It’s Danae!” ... it would be more accurate to call it “Hey It’s Collective Impact!” This systematic change is about our community, not the Executive Director of Milwaukee Succeeds. This is not my work. It’s our work. To benefit all of our kids.
See you soon,
Danae Davis | Executive Director
101 W. Pleasant St., Suite 210, Milwaukee, WI 53212