THE BIG PICTURE

VIVA provided strategic consultation and coordination throughout the design and development of an innovative collective impact initiative that brought together non-traditional partners to build a birth through third grade continuum and re-engineer the way children and families in Fresno County are supported.

 

THE BACKGROUND

Recognizing the critical link between children’s first 5 years and later academic and life success, First 5 Fresno County decided to pilot an initiative to tackle Fresno County’s achievement gap. They partnered with the Fresno County Office of Education, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Early Edge to build a continuum of learning, supports, and systems from birth through third grade, with the goal of improving third grade reading proficiency.

 

THE NITTY-GRITTY

VIVA provided strategy consultation from the conception of the initiative, including collaborating with First 5 and its partners to design the systems approach, plan the initiative, and coordination implementation. VIVA developed and facilitated policy cabinet convenings to gain the buy-in of traditional and nontraditional education partners, and professional learning communities that provided technical assistance to K-12 educators. The result was the development of strong partnerships between school districts and county agencies, innovative solutions to persistent achievement problems, and new programs to better serve families and young children.

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