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Poughkeepsie Children's Cabinet Joins National StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Yvonne Flowers, Children's Cabinet Leadership Council Co-Chair, speaks with students during a visit to Morse Elementary School for their annual Black History Month Event.

March 10, 2024 - The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet has joined the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network and is now part of a national movement to help every child succeed in school and in life, regardless of race, ethnicity, zip code or circumstance. 

Poughkeepsie is now one of over 70 communities across the country that StriveTogether partners with to close gaps and create opportunities across education, health, housing and more. The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet facilitates effective collaboration, supports the use of data to make decisions, and aligns resources and efforts toward effective solutions — all aimed at putting more young people on the path to economic mobility.

“The Children’s Cabinet is invigorated by the vote of confidence from the StriveTogether network. Membership will allow the Children’s Cabinet to  leverage StriveTogether’s nationally proven strategies to reduce silos of work and build equitable, collaborative local processes to collectively embrace community accountability and solutions to improve outcomes for our youth,” shared Jill Gomez, Executive Director of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet. 

Rob Watson, Board Chair of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet, said “[t]his is a monumental achievement for the entire City of Poughkeepsie community. Since the launch of the Cabinet, we have been laser-focused on bringing together leaders and institutions across sectors to establish a cradle-to-career system of opportunities for young people and families that eliminates intergenerational poverty and creates pathways to socioeconomic mobility. Joining the StriveTogether network will allow us to learn from the best-in-class innovations developed by our peers  across the nation and elevate our city’s profile on the national stage. Poughkeepsie is truly on the rise.” 

The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet was formed in early 2020, an outcome of the gathering of over 20 civic leaders at Harvard University to discuss longstanding issues of educational disparities and intergenerational poverty that impact the lives of children, youth, and families in Poughkeepsie. At the conclusion of the summit, a first-of-its-kind partnership and social compact was formed between the city government, public school system and key public and private anchor institutions. Today, the Mayor of Poughkeepsie, Yvonne Flowers and the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Eric Rosser, continue to co-chair the Children Cabinet’s Leadership Council, comprised of Poughkeepsie cross-sector leaders, to champion collaborative efforts towards the Children Cabinet’s Northstar: that by 2033, 5,000 youth and their families will be engaged in cradle-to-career opportunities that create pathways to social mobility. 

“We refuse to settle for a world where a child’s potential is dictated by the conditions into which they are born,” said StriveTogether CEO and President Jennifer Blatz. “Across the country, communities in the Cradle to Career Network are demonstrating that you can get better results for kids when you unite around a common vision and use data effectively. We are excited to welcome The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet  into the Network.”

To join the Cradle to Career Network, communities complete an assessment of their civic infrastructure development. This process measures progress against a continuum of quality benchmarks, known as the StriveTogether Theory of Action™. This proven framework helps communities align resources to get better and more equitable outcomes for youth. 

In its application to the StriveTogether Network, the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet detailed its efforts to date, particularly in creating the conditions for investment in collaborative community initiatives serving youth. For example,  the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet was awarded a $175,000 grant from The Wallace Foundation to improve access to out-of-school time programs for adolescents in the City of Poughkeepsie. The grant supports an in-depth strategic financing project to develop a model to determine the true cost of serving 5,000 youth in Poughkeepsie. It also supports a collaborative year-long program with five leading out-of-school time program providers ( The Art Effect; Boys & Girls Club of Poughkeepsie; Community Matters 2;  Family Services; and Nubian Directions II)  to engage local adolescent voice in exploring barriers to extended learning, developing a model for city-wide youth engagement, and supporting students in leading the development of a public art piece, completed by an artist selected by the students.

Also of note,  in November, the US Department of Education awarded a $2.5 million, five-year Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) grant to the Poughkeepsie City School District (PCSD). The award is one of the largest federal grants ever secured by PCSD and will be used to scale PCSD’s Community Schools Initiative across its five elementary schools specifically increasing use of national evidence-based programs proven to improve outcomes for youth, including the BASICS, City Connects, EveryDay Labs, and Ampact high-dosage tutoring AmeriCorps programs.

 The Children’s Cabinet was an integral partner to the school district in securing this grant, by convening a working group with school district leadership to develop the grant proposal and providing technical support and partnership to the school district grant writer. As future high-leverage funding opportunities become available, the Children’s Cabinet will continue to work closely with the City of Poughkeepsie, School District, and nonprofit partners to identify the ways we collectively can create strong programs for our youth.   

Over the next year, the Children’s Cabinet will continue to implement Phase I of its ten-year Strategic Plan, particularly launching an initial cohort of Cradle-to-Career Pipeline partners to develop collaborative processes, quality standards, and data sharing. Every step of the work is in furtherance of its mission to connect all members of the Poughkeepsie community who support children in order to create and coordinate a cradle-to-career system of services, supports and opportunities that ensures every child can thrive in Poughkeepsie regardless of race, ethnicity, poverty or circumstance. 


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