The Community Foundation of North Louisiana has named Africa Price as Step Forward’s new executive director. Step Forward was launched as an initiative designed to ensure Caddo, Bossier and DeSoto children are prepared from cradle to career to become productive citizens able to compete locally and globally.
Step Forward is a catalyst for working together across sectors and geographical lines to prepare the students of these three parishes for academic achievement, productive citizenship and global competitiveness from cradle to career. Step Forward exists to create a civic infrastructure that aligns and supports the myriad efforts to drive excellence in education locally.
Price, former executive editor of The Times, plans to implement a newsletter and blog on the Step Forward website to engage the general public in the initiative. She also wants to lead efforts to gather, analyze and report relevant data while connecting with the community to create opportunities for children.
The website states, “Currently, the Shreveport-Bossier Metropolitan Statistical Area (Bossier, Caddo, and DeSoto Parishes) is facing a severe crisis. In our area, 18.5 percent of the population has less than a high school diploma or equivalency. Only 23.5 percent of the population has a bachelor's degree or higher. There is no doubt we must work together to support and improve our area’s entire educational enterprise, from cradle to career, if we are to compete in a 21st century global economy.”
The partnership will provide support for learning communities and measure impact in each of the following critical sectors:
- Early Childhood Education
- K-8th grade
- High School
Step Forward is a member of the Strive Cradle to Career Network. The national Cradle to Career Network launched in 2011 as a way to connect communities who are building cradle-to-career civic infrastructure using the Strive framework. The Network enables members like Step Forward to share expertise, identify and adapt programs that work and develop effective tools and resources that can be brought to bear on specific challenges. There are more than 80 communities currently a part of the Strive Network. Visit www.stepforwardnla.org for more information.