Impact and Programs
During the 2017-18 school year: 48% of NAZ scholars assessed as kindergarten-ready as defined by the early FAST assessment; 28% were proficient in reading in grades 3-8, and; 29% were proficient in math in grades 3-8. We are currently setting intermediary goals to reach the 60% benchmarks in kindergarten readiness and academic proficiency rates. The 60% benchmarks represent an unprecedented rate of improvement in academic proficiency on the Northside, more than doubling 3rd-8th-grade reading and math proficiency rates from 2017-18.
NAZ uses many annual measures as guideposts to work toward school success goals. In this school year, we aim to: Engage 750 Northside families in achievement planning to increase their beliefs, intentions, skills, and commitment to supporting their children’s academic development and successful path to college; Enroll 200 scholars ages 0-5 in a NAZ or other high quality early learning program where they make age-appropriate progress toward developing literacy, numeracy, social-emotional, and other skills that contribute to kindergarten readiness; Enroll 50% of NAZ scholars in a K-8 partner school, engage 400 scholars in grades K-8 in academic achievement strategies, and 500 scholars in out-of-school time programming, and; Connect families to housing, career, and behavioral health supports as determined by family achievement plans. We will continue to partner with Wilder Research and be guided by a process where: Key partners co-create and implement shared goals and strategies; Data analysis encompasses diverse perspectives of leadership, staff, partners, and enrolled parents; We make real-time course corrections and formal implementation changes, and; We scale successful strategies.
Community or Constituency Served
At NAZ, 81% of enrolled individuals are African American and 71% of families have an annual income of less than $30,000 per year. Families that live in areas of racially concentrated poverty are exposed repeatedly to multiple forms of trauma over many years. This can result in what society typically views as negative behavior (conflict avoidance, trouble controlling emotions, etc.) but which actually represents coping strategies that now stand in the way of achieving family and academic goals. NAZ centers these lived experiences within our work. We honor the evidence of resilience demonstrated by Northside families and work within a trauma-informed framework that elevates scholar and parent voice, i.e., their life experiences. We also support parents as they shift from an often long-held view of themselves as perennial recipients of social services to a view that recognizes their inherent ability to become not just independent, but agents of change for their families and community.
Geographic Area Served
“Zone” refers to the original 13x18 block area of North Minneapolis where NAZ started our work. We continue to use this area as a basis for evaluative comparison because our most intensive work has occurred within the Zone. However, because of the reach of our collaborative, our effort has scaled beyond the original Zone to reach families across North Minneapolis.