As the Great Expectations Initiative (GE) matures into the next phase of its work, I am grateful for the passion and perseverance of the many community members who know we can do better for our kids. These dedicated advocates recognize how school and community can create an ecosystem of support around kids and families, build trust and relationships across organizations, and initiate new programs and ways of doing. All this results in improved education outcomes for individual learners and strengthens our broader community. These founding and sustaining community members are on to something!
GE’s collaborative approach is a best practice as evidenced by our state’s new Due North education plan. This plan recognizes that both system-level policy change and increased access and opportunity for individual learners is needed to eliminate the systemic educational disparities experienced, especially, by our low-income, Black, Indigenous and students of color.
This kind of transformational change takes time. While we work toward sustained large-scale changes, we celebrate the successes we see every day.
- The young learner who received a Caring for Kids scholarship, arriving at kindergarten ahead of her peers.
- The middle schooler who connected with her cultural identity in new ways through Neighborhood Program, increasing her sense of belonging.
- The high schooler who earned his Driver’s License through the Great Opportunities Fund, allowing him independence.
- The 15-year-old who secured her first job through Great Expectations’ partnerships.
- And, the young adults who became first-generation homeowners after learning about and taking control of their personal finances through the Making Moves program.
Together, as we address both systems and individual learners, we change conditions which hold problems in place. We knew this years ago, and we know it even more today.
“The Great Expectations Initiative is a school and community partnership anchored by the Orono and Wayzata School Districts and Interfaith Outreach working to uncover and address and ultimately eliminate educational opportunity and achievement disparities experienced by kids in our own community.”
– Andrea Mac Arthur
Great Expectations Fundraising Goal: $400,000 by June 30. You can double your impact! Thanks to a generous donor, gifts of $100 or more will be matched up to $25,000.