Op-ed: 'Promise Partnership' builds on common interests to help children

April 17, 2015
Author: Martin Bates and Mark BoucharD
http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2409527-155/op-ed-promise-partnership-builds-on-common

Last year, with support from United Way of Salt Lake, we first convened the Promise Partnership Regional Council (PPRC). Around the PPRC table sit leaders from government agencies, community organizations, institutions of higher education, businesses, K-12 education systems, philanthropies and civic entities. Amidst demanding schedules, we come together to align the systems and community efforts that we represent around bold goals that no single organization or sector can achieve alone.

In its broadest form, the aligned, data-driven actions of the PPRC impact approximately 294,000 children ages 0-25 in Granite, Davis and Park City school districts. A startling 102,000 of these children live in poverty. Each and every one of them has a story and a dream.

The goal that guides us is that all of these children, regardless of their circumstances, should be healthy, successful in school through college and ultimately have a career that provides financial stability for themselves and their families. With the belief that transformative change at a massive scale requires all of us working together, the PPRC has organized six cross-sector collaborative action networks, each focused on specific results. We also support the locally organized collaborative action of six geographic communities, each focused on results for all.

This week, the PPRC released the baseline report of our regional partnership. Our report explains how we are working differently together, states the goals for which we share accountability and presents data that shows how far we have to go as a community until we achieve our shared goal of success for every child. (The latter part of the report also highlights early successes taking place in many of the specific communities and schools that existed prior to our regional effort and that are now a part of it.)

We are proud of the progress being made for our 294,000 students, but much work lies ahead. Whether you are connected to a school system, religious institution, business, public organization, nonprofit, community, civic organization, a faith group – or are an individual who believes that we can do better for our neighbors and our state – we invite you to join us in working differently to achieve results for all Utahns. Please visit www.uw.org/PromiseReport and tell us about yourself. We will contact you to discuss involvement in a Promise Partnership or complementary collective impact effort.

Thank you to the three school districts, five state systems, six communities, hundreds of businesses, philanthropists, community organizations and the thousands of volunteers and students who currently align their work in the Promise Partnerships. Our work is complex, but our promise matters — not just for our students but for our entire state.

Dr. Martin Bates is superintendent of Granite School District, and Mark Bouchard is senior managing director of CBRE. They are co-chairs of Promise Partnership Regional Council.