City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Eric Jay Rosser today announced they are partnering to launch the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet to create a shared vision and cradle-to-career agenda for child development in the city.
Children’s cabinets are used by localities around the country to bring together school districts, government agencies, child-serving community organizations and other local stakeholders to improve their ability to collaborate and coordinate youth supports and services. Cabinets address young people’s holistic needs as they grow and develop. By creating common goals, sharing and comparing data, and addressing gaps or duplications in resources, leaders in different systems (healthcare, human services, parks and recreation, higher education and others) are empowered to craft better policies and decisions.
“Any city that is serious about guaranteeing the success of its children needs to recognize its responsibility for what happens, not just at school, but beyond the school day,” said Mayor Rolison. “I couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Dr. Rosser to build the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet into a resource that will, for years to come, make sure each and every child in our city has access to everything they need to thrive.”
“The establishment of the Children’s Cabinet is essential to helping to organize the work of many community stakeholders, including the Poughkeepsie City School District. Each of us are fully invested in creating opportunity and access for children throughout the City of Poughkeepsie to achieve success,” said Dr. Rosser. “I’m excited to co-chair with Mayor Rolison. As the top government official of the City of Poughkeepsie, he has a strong track record of investing in the City’s youth and is uniquely positioned to co-chair the Cabinet in the work required for our children to be future leaders.”
“On behalf of the Board of Education and as a lifetime resident of the City of Poughkeepsie, I welcome the creation of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet. Our children possess great potential that must be maximized, and the Children’s Cabinet will bring school, community and government together to work collaboratively to guarantee that children have multiple pathways to success,” said PCSD Board of Education President Dr. Felicia Watson.
The development of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet will benefit from the resources of The Local Children’s Cabinet Network, a national initiative of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Education Redesign Lab, The Forum for Youth Investment and the Children’s Funding Project. Poughkeepsie’s cabinet has joined this network that brings together leaders from 30 localities in the U.S. and Canada to provide research, expertise and tools to support creating and operating successful cabinets.
The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet was an outcome of the first-ever Poughkeepsie Summit at Harvard University, which convened more than 20 local officials and nonprofit leaders to discuss community development opportunities related to the City of Poughkeepsie’s future, with a focus on improving opportunities for Poughkeepsie’s children.
The event was organized by a group of young professionals with deep ties to the City of Poughkeepsie including James Watson, Kylynn Grier, Kelsey Donohue and Robert Watson Jr. The team is bringing together alumni of K-12 and higher education institutions in the City of Poughkeepsie area to incubate innovative social impact projects and enhance the capacity of local leaders and institutions by connecting them to comprehensive resources and prominent national organizations such as Harvard’s Education Redesign Lab, whose director welcomed the mayor and superintendent’s announcement today.
Mayor Rolison and Superintendent Rosser will be partnering with other government officials, community organizations and local stakeholders to ensure the cabinet reflects the strength and diversity of the individuals and groups committed to the success of Poughkeepsie’s youth.