Fresno Cradle to Career Logo

FRESNO, CA, May 23, 2018

The Together for Students initiative, created by three national, education-focused nonprofit organizations — the Coalition for Community Schools, Communities In Schools, and StriveTogether — today recognized the Fresno Cradle to Career Partnership (Fresno C2C) for plans to bring key community members together to support the needs of local students. Fresno C2C is one of 10 that will receive approximately $150,000 to support the activities and goals set forth in their collaborative plans. Fresno C2C was chosen because of its ability to foster a shared vision among multiple partners, build on progress that has already been made, and use data driven strategies to scale what is working.

“This grant offers us the opportunity to bring together a broad coalition of partners to improve student outcomes in an under served part of Fresno. I see wonderful things ahead for Washington Unified School District.” -Joey Campbell, Former Superintendent, Washington Unified School District

“This grant provides critical funding for students and families in west Fresno to have more opportunities to achieve academic success and a life of well-being.” It is an encouraging indicator of community collaboration and a focus on results. -Linda Gleason, Executive Director, Fresno Cradle to Career

Selected from a pool of 86 applicants, these communities display strong school district and cross-sector partnerships, the ability to scale their plans, empowerment of family and student voice and a clear plan for identifying the best supports for students. The 10 award communities are:  

  • Birmingham, AL (United Way of Central Alabama)  
  • Chicago, IL (Thrive Chicago)  
  • Dayton, OH (Learn to Earn Dayton)  
  • Fresno, CA (Fresno Cradle to Career and Central Valley Community Foundation)  
  • Lehigh Valley, PA (United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley)  
  • Memphis, TN (Communities In Schools of Memphis)  
  • Milwaukee, WI (United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County)  
  • Nashville, TN (Metro Nashville Public Schools)  
  • Vancouver, WA (Vancouver Public Schools)  
  • Washington, D.C. (DC Public Education Fund)


Each of the lead applicants listed will work with a variety of local partners.

“It’s extremely exciting to be working with and learning from communities that are committed to using what they have to create the conditions, climate, and culture necessary for learners to achieve their dreams.,” said José Muñoz, director of the Coalition for Community Schools.

“Our schools succeed when communities come together to address the underlying issues facing our learners and their families.” “These communities are uniquely positioned to grow their programs that are already closing achievement gaps, while engaging with broad groups of community organizations and outlining solid goals,” said Dale Erquiaga, Communities In Schools president and CEO.

“With these awards, they will be able to build out their efforts to reach even more students on their paths to careers.” “This initiative highlights what can be accomplished when collaboration brings the right partners together to focus on the needs and interests of every child in a community,” StriveTogether President and CEO Jennifer Blatz said. “These communities have begun to create a more equitable education system for children to succeed despite challenges. We look forward to seeing how they extend their reach for the optimal student-centered learning environment.”

With support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Ford Foundation, the three organizations launched Together for Students to advance student-centered learning. Under their vision, the needs of every individual student are carefully considered and provided for, from health, food and shelter to high-quality mentoring and enrichment activities. Together, The Coalition for Community Schools, Communities In Schools and StriveTogether are leading a movement that unites families, educators and local partners, with their combined networks totaling nearly 300 communities.

About Fresno Cradle to Career

Fresno Cradle to Career is a community-based partnership that brings together a dedicated group of cross sector leaders to collaboratively improve key educational and health outcomes for all children in Fresno County. Our mission is to strengthen community support systems through collaboration and capacity building so that all children and families may achieve success.

About the Coalition for Community Schools

The Coalition for Community Schools, an initiative of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), is an alliance of national, state and local organizations that utilize community schools as an equitable continuous improvement strategy for public schools, and an approach to build stronger and healthier families and communities.

About Communities In Schools

Working directly in more than 2,350 schools in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools is the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization proven to keep students in school and on the path to graduation. For the 2016-2017 school year, Communities In Schools served nearly 1.6 million students and successfully helped 99 percent of our casemanaged students stay in school.

About StriveTogether

StriveTogether leads a national movement of nearly 70 communities to get better results in every child’s life. We coach and connect partners across the country to close gaps by using local data, especially for children of color and low-income children. Communities using our proven approach have seen measurable gains in kindergarten readiness, academic achievement and postsecondary success. The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network reaches 10.4 million students, involves 10,800 organizations and has partners in 30 states and Washington, D.C.