Clinton School graduate Andrew Forsman (‘16) is working with the Arkansas Excel by Eight initiative as a Design Strategist and Focus Group Facilitator.
Funded by the JB and MK Pritzker Family Foundation, the Arkansas Excel by Eight initiative has been developed by the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and lead partners Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Community Foundation, the Arkansas Association for Infant Mental Health, and the Invest Early Coalition in collaboration with over 20 statewide entities.
The JB and MK Pritzker Family Foundation – which operates under the mission to “build a promising future for our country through investments in early childhood development” – is funding cohorts of states to develop policy and program agendas that will impact young children (prenatal to age three) and their families who are under 200% of the federal poverty level. Arkansas is one of 11 states in a new cohort that received planning grants this spring and will submit proposals for implementation grants in January. The Arkansas plan will include recommendations around early childhood education, early supports and services, and home visiting.
Forsman will design and co-facilitate focus groups with Arkansas Excel by Eight stakeholders across the state in an effort to better understand their policy ideas and priorities. He will also seek feedback on the drafts of policies and programs currently being discussed by statewide experts in health, early childhood education, and family support services. Findings from these focus groups will help inform Arkansas’s final submission to the Pritzker Family Foundation for consideration of acceptance into the second implementation cohort.
Forsman recently earned his Certified Group Facilitator designation from the Arkansas Public Administration Consortium. He also works at UAMS as an internal evaluator for a group of early childhood education programs.
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