Five Town CTC director featured presenter at Washington, D.C. summit
Rockport — Dalene Dutton, executive director of Five Town Communities That Care, was a featured presenter at the 2013 Building a Grad Nation Summit in Washington, DC Feb. 25.
The annual event brings together a powerfully diverse group of community organizations, national nonprofits, school systems, business leaders, government officials of all levels, parents and youth to examine the progress and remaining challenges in the nation’s efforts to increase high school graduation rates and prepare youth for success in college and career.
Dutton was one of four speakers invited to present on the subject of “Better Data, Better Systems, Better Outcomes.” The session will focus on how data-driven decision-making can help youth development programs develop more effective community strategies—but there are many obstacles.
Many communities lack the capacity to gather, interpret, and use evidence systematically, and deep cultural and structural barriers can also impede all of these processes at a fundamental level. In addition, research has documented that people are more likely to seek recommendations from their trusted relationships than from “expert” directories of information before making their own decisions.
Dutton will share how the Communities That Care system builds data collection and analyses into its mission. The Five Town CTC Coalition gathers community-level data on problem adolescent behaviors such as substance abuse, violence, delinquency, school dropout, teenage pregnancy, and suicide, and on the amount of risk and protection for the behaviors that exist in the community. The coalition then works together to analyze that data, and to prioritize a list of risk and protective factors to be targeted in its Community Action Plan.
“The America’s Promise Alliance’s focus on providing caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education, and opportunities to help others is a perfect match with our work at Five Town CTC,” said Dutton in a news release. “I am proud to be able to share some of the ways the Five Town community has made effective use of data in order to address these areas with successful programs and practices.“
The summit included appearances from America’s Promise Alliance Founding Chairman Gen. Colin Powell and Chairman Alma Powell, Tim Shriver, CEO of Special Olympics, Andre Johnson of Magic Johnson Enterprises, and a video appearance by Dr. Maya Angelou, and others.
Launched in 2010, the Grad Nation campaign is a large and growing movement of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities working together to raise the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020, with no school graduating fewer than 80 percent of its students on time.