[Fritz] We’ve been very interested in closing the achievement gap in Northfield for quite some time. That’s where our passion for Accelerate Northfield – a program that pairs volunteer tutors with students to promote reading – was born. With the success of Accelerate Northfield, it only makes sense that we would look to leverage a wider network of people to have an even greater impact. Northfield Promise is definitely that network. Northfield Promise has the ability for everyone to work together so we’re able to better identify gaps and eliminate service overlaps.
[Rachel] Some might say that the goals for Northfield Promise are too big. To that, I’d say the only way to make big progress is to set big goals. In my opinion, Northfield Promise is the best way we can serve our kids. And what makes it so special is its holistic approach. By focusing on social and emotional as well as academic benchmarks, we are breaking new ground in collective impact initiatives and also striving to help all our children grow up to be happy and healthy.
[Fritz] Northfield has the opportunity to be a national leader. I’m really, really proud of what we’ve done so far and want to be the community that people look to and say, “That’s what we want.”
[Rachel] The whole experience has been exciting. I’ve been a part of this since the very beginning – reading the Stanford article on collective impact and sitting down with Zach Pruitt to imagine how this might work in our community. We went from the initial stages of “could it work, would it work” to actually deploying action teams and gathering data. Yes, there’s still a lot of planning to be done, but work is underway.
[Fritz] I imagine a community where a parent of a young child cannot turn around without being offered a book. It’s exciting to think about the different ways we can incorporate reading into our everyday lives.
[Rachel] Getting involved in Northfield Promise is as easy as interacting with kids. For some, it will be in formal ways – serving as a reading tutor. For others, it’s as simple as talking to the kids you see out and about and showing up at kids’ events to show your support.
Northfield Promise in three words?
COLLABORATION. COMMUNITY. KIDS.