Alignment Peoria Launches First Invitation To Participate™

Alignment Peoria’s College and Career Readiness Action Team, co-chaired by Clint Drury, West Central Illinois Building Trades, and Tom Welsh, Peoria Public Schools, recently developed a tactic tied to their vision to educate all Peoria Public Schools’ students with the skills necessary to contribute to the betterment of Peoria and the world.

The K-5 Career Awareness Pilot will help align all of the school district's and community's current career exploration programming in grades K-8 while enhancing the current offerings. Adding in much needed essential (soft) skills and career pathway specific vocabulary will increase the impact of the work already underway. This led to the release of their first Invitation to Participate (ITP).

The ITP promotes opportunities for speakers from various career fields to share their work and training experiences, career vocabulary and skills needed to be a successful employee with students in Peoria Public Schools.  The College and Career Readiness Action Team has done great work in connecting industry sectors to grade levels and even prepared a toolkit and PowerPoint for Peoria Public Schools’ educators to use that aligns with learning standards.  They expect to ultimately engage 6,000 students in 277 classrooms through this effort.

Alignment Peoria held a community meeting focused on the ITP that drew over 50 attendees, and has received 64 responses so far.

“The ITP was broadly shared across the community through various communication and media platforms.  Alignment Peoria enlisted the help of community partners to assist in the promotion of the ITP to increase involvement.  Key organizations, such as the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, CEO Council, the Greater Economic Development Council, Peoria Journal Star and community organizations featured written publications, press releases and media posts and videos. The result of these activities helped to build synergy and incredible excitement among stakeholders and volunteers.”

- Marcia Bolden, Executive Director of Alignment Peoria

After asking Marcia what stood out to her about this first ITP™ experience, she explained being pleasantly surprised by “the community investment and buy-in from the business community…The launching of our first ITP has generated additional exposure for our organization which resulted in the expansion of our volunteer base, increasing the opportunities for greater collaboration in strengthening our efforts in systems change.”

As the College and Career Readiness Action Team begins implementation of the K-5 Career Awareness Pilot their teacher trainers will present the framework to all of the teachers in the K-5 buildings, compile pre-assessment results on essential skills and collect writing samples from students following their career experiences.  Also on the horizon for this team is the addition of two new sub-committees to focus on internships and mentoring.

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