2015 Partner Summit Celebrates Ten Years of Wild Patience

Advocates, national experts, and philanthropists gathered to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Alliance for Early Success at our annual Partner Summit on November 9-10. 

Returning to Omaha, the birthplace of the Alliance, 200 participants reminisced about the early years, and reaffirmed their passion and dedication to network, learn, and work together to improve outcomes for young children and families. 

The spirited evented kicked off with a three-minute video that tells the story of how the Alliance and our partners are working to change health, family support, and early learning outcomes for vulnerable young children, birth through age eight. In the opening session, Susie Buffet, Joan Lombardi, and Jack Shonkoff shared their thoughts about the origins of the Alliance, where we are now, and their hopes for the future.

The tension between the time it takes to change the life chances of a child and the urgency it requires to reach that goal was a theme of the meeting.  Participants received a retrospective of the Alliance’s first decade written by Rima Shore.  A Wild Patience Has Taken Us This Far:  The Story of Alliance for Early Success explains this tension and chronicles the growth of the Alliance to support wild action over time.  The pooled investment of like-minded funders has grown from $1.5 million to $7.5 million, from 4 funders to 11, and from 10 grantees to more than 50.

The two days blended networking receptions, plenary and breakout sessions, individualized TA consultations, and site visits to three exemplary programs in Omaha.  Materials from the sessions are linked to the on-line agenda along with bios on those in attendance.

We released the revised Birth Through Eight State Policy Framework, which guides all Alliance investments.  It includes best bet policy choices based on the latest research and best practice evidence.  The most significant change is the inclusion of policy choices that cut across the three areas that impact the life of a child: health, family support, and learning.

In the decade to come, the Alliance will build on this framework, seizing new opportunities for cross-cutting policy work, sharpening and extending advocacy efforts, and ensuring continuity across the birth-through-eight age span.  With wild patience, and the coordinated efforts of state, national, and funding partners, we will continue to change the story of early childhood in America.

- Helene Stebbins, Senior Policy Director, Alliance for Early Success
December 7, 2015