On Friday, February 11, 2022, the Grinnell Education Partnership (GEP) met virtually with stakeholders for an annual visioning meeting.
GEP’s goal was to:
· Receive updates from Grinnell-Newburg Community School District (GNCSD) on student performance data
· Share updates about GEP projects
· Collect input from attendees
· Identify GEP’s priorities for the 2022-2023 school year
The attendees of this meeting included nineteen community organizations and foundations, in addition to the community’s volunteers, that are essential to bringing GEP’s collaborative initiatives to fruition.
To expand on GEP’s values and drive, the team presented its history beginning in 2015 with GEP’s collaboration with AmeriCorps members to fully realize efforts of improving grade-level reading, up to the present as active partners of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and over twenty other organizations.
The substantial time and effort put in by the teams of all these organizations was on full display as GEP acknowledged positive trends in third grade reading proficiency and school readiness since the 2020-2021 school year, as shared by Dr. Janet Stutz, Superintendent of the Grinnell-Newburg Community School District (GNCSD). Significant pieces of that success were accredited to strong community partner involvement and high levels of AmeriCorps member presence. GEP cited help from over 160 AmeriCorps members since 2015, of which those members included Grinnell College students and alumni, high school students, educational coaches, other 4-year college students, community college students, retirees, and young professionals.
GEP was also thrilled to introduce this year’s team, including Jill Harris as the GEP Project & Sustainability Coordinator, Lindsey Altenhofen as the GEP Data & Planning Coordinator, and Isaac Ferber as the AmeriCorps VISTA Equity & Inclusion Taskforce Coordinator.
The meeting came to a close as GEP shifted to priorities, identifying equity and inclusion as a major focal point for the upcoming year and requesting input from stakeholders. Attendees agreed, and provided feedback in which summer learning, attendance, after school programming, and family engagement were also recognized as important areas to focus initiative.
Dr. Stutz added to the conversation, acknowledging that “the focus areas interconnect. All of this is interconnecting.”
The next steps for GEP includes the continuation of sustainability planning for these high-impact community projects, starting with the launch of the GEP Summer Learning Program with partners and AmeriCorps members, and moving forward with the areas of focus identified by stakeholders.
Keep an eye out for more updates regarding GEP’s and partnering organizations’ upcoming community projects!
You can view the full GEP annual meeting summary report in the downloadable PDF below.