The Ready by 21 Quality Counts Initiative, which operated from 2007 to 2010, helped communities improve the quality and reach of their out-of-school-time services for youth. Through this project, the Forum for Youth Investment and its partners developed and shared a coordinated package of tools and technical assistance to improve capacity and leadership at networks of community programs guided by 12 lead organizations.
Program collaborators were HighScope Educational Research Foundation and the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work.
As of December 2010, 32 community networks involving a total of more than 2,000 youth programs were applying at least some of the quality improvement methods piloted in this project.
Some 16 communities at 12 project sites successfully piloted quality improvement strategies in their out-of-school-time youth services. All sites worked on coordinated action in four target areas—information gathering, big-picture planning, program quality and building a strong workforce.
An evaluation of 10 sites involving 277 community organizations showed all making progress in six domains that represent core capacities for success: leadership horsepower; community vision and demand; quality improvement; system capacity; intermediary capacity; and provider capacity.