YEF Council Education Playbook encourages children to learn

The National League of Cities’ (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, in collaboration with the NLC Council on Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Council), have released the YEF Council Education Playbook, a compendium of 27 specific action steps that city leaders can take to support and expand learning opportunities for children and youth in their communities.

The YEF Council Education Playbook presents a host of practical, tested strategies that municipal leaders can adapt and use to drive local progress. The playbook outlines how city leaders can take steps to ensure that all children are ready for school, have access to expanded learning opportunities, and receive the extra help they need to succeed.

“This playbook is a great resource for city leaders to use to build education networks, both formal and informal,” said Mayor William Peduto of Pittsburgh. “It offers insight on the various roles stakeholders can play in strengthening and developing education networks in cities throughout the country. Pittsburgh is honored to be recognized for the local efforts in remaking learning. We’re proud to share our work and hope to build on the ideas of other innovative cities and partners involved.”

“If we can create cities that support children and their families for learning – from the moment they are born until they are fully launched adults, both inside and outside the classroom – we can make huge strides in ensuring that the next generation can fulfill its potential and that our cities are great places for all residents,” said Councilmember Kristin Szakos of Charlottesville, VA. “This toolbox will help city leaders move their cities forward as communities that promote learning and young people’s success.”

The playbook outlines various ways that city leaders can support learning, such as:

  • Expanding the scope and reach of parent education and home visitation programs.
  • Filling gaps in access to afterschool and summer learning programs.
  • Supporting the creation and expansion of community schools.
  • Giving young people who have dropped out a one-stop option for re-enrolling in school.
  • Establishing college access centers to help students enroll in post secondary education.

“Mayors and other city leaders have tremendous opportunities to support learning in their communities,” said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and executive director of National League of Cities (NLC). “Even though just a handful of mayors and city councils play a role in the governance of their public schools, every mayor, council member and city administrator can take concrete steps to strengthen foundations for early learning, provide more and better learning time, and help all children succeed. The payoffs for this leadership are visible not only in better prospects for children and families but also in stronger and healthier communities, including more vibrant economies that compete and thrive in the global marketplace.”

Each strategy in the playbook is linked to an example in the NLC’s City Practices Database, a searchable, online tool designed to support the sharing of ideas across cities.

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