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Six Word Essays: Are You Up to the Challenge?


Is it possible to encapsulate a hope, a feeling, a story in a mere six words?  Inspired by Six-Word Memoirs from SMITH Magazine, the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership took the challenge. In six words, partners described what it would take to buffer the impact of toxic stress in the earliest years. The essays were incorporated at…

Turning Strengths Into Stories


Follow @SarahCHaight Above, National Crittenton Foundation President Jeannette Pai-Espinosa at a 2013 conference on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Last month, I participated in a convening co-hosted by the National Crittenton Foundation (TNCF) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focused on generating solutions for marginalized young American women. “Fostering Girls’ Strengths,” the meeting’s title, is an…

You’ve Got Chocolate in My Peanut Butter!


Remember that old commercial, “You’ve got chocolate in my peanut butter!  You’ve got peanut butter in my chocolate?” Put aside the unlikely ways peanut butter and chocolate “got into” each other in those 1980s ads, and the gist was clear:  two great things are even better together.  That’s what two-generation strategies are all about. Recently,…

Banking on Children and Parents Together


Follow @alevere Can you imagine a child in preschool with her own bank account? How might she feel as she takes a trip to the local bank or credit union branch to make her deposit? Equally important, how can this account not only change her life, but also change the lives of her parents? Preschool…

Collaboration and A Woman’s Nation


Follow @SarahCHaight Last week I had the privilege of attending The Atlantic Presents the Shriver Report LIVE in Washington, DC, where a remarkable mix of leaders shared big ideas on how to lift all women toward opportunity. It was a celebratory launch for The Shriver Report: Women Pushing Back From the Brink. Equally importantly, it…

A Montessori Model for Two Generations


A major strategy of Ascend is to elevate two-generation programs, which provide opportunities for and meet the needs of vulnerable children and their parents together. Ascend has a growing database of more than 100 promising programs. We conduct regular outreach to program leaders to determine how they reach children and their parents simultaneously. Recently, I…