PNI Blog

Promise Neighborhoods Act Introduced in Congress

Promise Neighborhoods Act Introduced in Congress

07 Jul 2015 | PolicyLink

This June, Congressman Donald M. Payne  Jr. (NJ-10) re-introduced legislation that would provide essential funding and support for Promise Neighborhoods — a highly successful program that seeks to improve outcomes for children in distressed communities by combining high-quality | Read more >

Sen. Murphy (D-CT) on Why We Need Promise Neighborhoods

Sen. Murphy (D-CT) on Why We Need Promise Neighborhoods

12 Mar 2015 |

In February,  Senator Christopher Murphy along with cosponsors — Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT), Sherrod Brown (OH), Al Franken (MN) and Patty Murray (WA) introduced legislation that, if passed, would ensure continued support and funding for the Promise Neighborhoods program — a | Read more >

The Promise Neighborhoods program receives standalone legislation!

The Promise Neighborhoods program receives standalone legislation!

20 Feb 2015 | Henrissa Bassey

Last week, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced standalone legislation to support the work of the Promise Neighborhoods program! The Promise Neighborhoods Authorization Act of 2015 will authorize the inclusion of the Promise Neighborhoods program into the Elementary and Secondary | Read more >

Target Practice

Target Practice

14 Feb 2014 | Pamela Lee, Urban Institute

Setting targets and measuring performance can go a long way toward achieving goals. For ambitious, multi-pronged, cross-organizational, place-based initiatives like Promise Neighborhoods, target setting is critically important. It allows an organization to track progress, make | Read more >

White House Announces First “Promise Zones”

White House Announces First “Promise Zones”

09 Jan 2014 |

Harlem Children's Zone student Kiara Molina introduces President Obama at the Promise Zones announcement.

President Obama, today, named the first five sites to receive “Promise Zone” designations: Los Angeles, San Antonio, Philadelphia, south-eastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw | Read more >

Diving Deep with the Urban Institute: Neighborhood Surveys

Diving Deep with the Urban Institute: Neighborhood Surveys

22 Aug 2013 | Sarah Gillespie, Urban Institute

We know many grantees spend a lot of time on the topic of neighborhood surveys.  Collecting data through a neighborhood survey is critical for measuring overall trends in the neighborhood throughout the initiative (not just among direct participants) and much of the information | Read more >

New School Alert! Arlington Turns It Around

New School Alert! Arlington Turns It Around

06 Aug 2013 |

Even though the Arlington Promise Neighborhood’s planning grant ran out in September 2011, it hasn’t stopped making its community better for students and families.

Since the end of the grant period, The Community Group, the lead agency for the planning which has a successful record | Read more >

Hayward Does Good with Data

Hayward Does Good with Data

13 Mar 2013 | Erika Bernabei

Melinda Hall, Hayward Promise Neighborhoods’ Project Director and Dean Carolyn Nelson of The College of Education at CSU East Bay, Jamie Mumau, Director of  Assessment, Research & Evaluation for the Hayward Unified School District and Stephen Redmond, Coordinator Prevention & | Read more >

New Increased Learning Effort Aims to Affect Tens of Thousands of Students

04 Dec 2012 |

Interesting new work from the National Center on Time and Learning and the Ford Foundation could affect tens of thousands of students in five states across the country!

Read the press release below for more.


December 3, 2012


George Mastoras
Read more >

New Toolkit! Everything You Need to Know About Media…

28 Nov 2012 |

More likely, you know how important media work is to the success of your Promise Neighborhood but may not have the time, or maybe you need a bit more direction.

Say no more! Check out our brand new media toolkit to answer questions about how to write compelling stories, craft | Read more >

Webinar This Thurs! Strive + PNI = Infrastructure Alignment

26 Nov 2012 |

Our own director, Michael McAfee, presented on a webinar with Strive and a few community leaders -- those building Promise Neighborhoods and regional cradle to career infrastructures -- to talk about how our efforts can complement each other.

Aligning for Impact: Connecting Promise | Read more >

Everything’s Sunny in Los Angeles

13 Sep 2012 |

Lots of good vibes (and good resources) flowing to sunny southern California Promise Neighborhoods!

Boyle Heights received a $600,000 AT&T Aspire grant for their Promise Neighborhood, which will assist their academic strategies.

Youth Policy Institute has been feeling the love as | Read more >

Inspired by Los Angeles: A Father Brought to Tears

Inspired by Los Angeles: A Father Brought to Tears

02 Aug 2012 |

Deycy Hernandez couldn’t believe what she was seeing.  Just moments ago, the stern-faced gentleman standing next to her appeared impassive while his wife and daughters were jumping for joy.  It wasn’t until Hernandez noticed the tears rolling down his cheeks that she realized how | Read more >

242 Applications Submitted for $60 Million!

242 Applications Submitted for $60 Million!

31 Jul 2012 |

The deadline for the FY 2012 Promise Neighborhoods grants was this past Friday, and there was a huge show of interest from across the country.

A total of 242 applications were submitted–60 implementation grant applications, and 182 planning grant applications.

These numbers | Read more >

San Antonio Builds Plane, Flies It, and Opens Up Its Black Box

San Antonio Builds Plane, Flies It, and Opens Up Its Black Box

17 Jul 2012 | Guest blog post by Marcos Marquez

Research shows that mentoring matters. Personalized instructional support from an adult to a child is a powerful tool that speeds up and deepens learning. The United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County and San Antonio’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood are building on this premise by | Read more >

Race to the Top–District Webinar!

Race to the Top–District Webinar!

13 Jun 2012 |

We’ve been super excited about the new Race to the Top–District grants available because of the focus on place, and the ability to make decisions at the neighborhood level.

Our friends at Coalition for Community Schools are hosting a webinar on this very topic to give you a handle | Read more >

US Dept of Ed Releases Report on Place-based Strategy

US Dept of Ed Releases Report on Place-based Strategy

04 Jun 2012 |

An exciting new report from the US Department of Education demonstrates just how much the administration is internalizing the PolicyLink adage: Place matters.

This report, which mentions our Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink partner, the Center for the Study of Social | Read more >

My Inspiration for Graduates: Jeremy Lin

My Inspiration for Graduates: Jeremy Lin

04 Jun 2012 |

Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink Director Michael McAfee had a few words of inspiration for graduates in the Huffington Post:

Need Inspiration for Your Graduate? Start With the Time 100 List

We all need a little graduation inspiration, especially when it can feel like Read more >

Webinar on Foster Youth: Register Today!

Webinar on Foster Youth: Register Today!

18 May 2012 |

Improving Outcomes for Transition Age Foster Youth: The Story of California Connected by 25

Date and Time:

May 24, 2012, 3:00-4:00pm EST


Patrick Lester, VP of Social Impact, Social Solutions


  • Teri Kook, Director of Child Welfare, Stuart Foundation
  • Wendy | Read more >
Dept of Ed Seeks Peer Reviewers for Promise Neighborhood Apps

Dept of Ed Seeks Peer Reviewers for Promise Neighborhood Apps

14 May 2012 |

From the U.S. Department of Education:

Call for Peer Reviewers for FY 2012 Promise Neighborhoods Competition

FRI, MAY 11, 2012 9:37 AM

Call for Peer Reviewers for FY 2012 Promise Neighborhoods Competition

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement | Read more >

PNI Panels, California-Style

07 May 2012 |

PNI staff are on the move! Note the dates and head to sunny (or foggy, depending) California for some Promise Neighborhoods conference love.

May 9: Deputy Director Kay Fernandez Smith will be speaking at the EdSource symposiumin Los Angeles on what schools, families, and | Read more >

Job Opportunity in Richmond, CA, with Building Blocks for Kids!

11 Apr 2012 |

Building Blocks for Kids Collaborative is searching for a Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy to join our team! Interested candidates may view the complete job description and application instructions in the attached PDF file or through our job posting on Craigslist, Read more >

Alice Thompson from Detroit Tells It Like It Is

04 Apr 2012 |

She’s clear about why Promise Neighborhoods are the best model for comprehensive community change and get around the impulse to create short-term solutions to urgent problems, rather than addressing the root causes of the issues. And she knows they’ll work to improve outcomes for | Read more >

Boyle Heights Moves Forward, Undeterred

13 Mar 2012 |

Even though they didn’t win a federal Promise Neighborhood grant this year, the Boyle Heights Promise Neighborhood in Los Angeles is moving forward with implementation.

They’ve taken stock of the hard work to be done, and are creating a strategy to improve outcomes for children and | Read more >

PNI on the Road! San Antonio Snaps

PNI on the Road! San Antonio Snaps

08 Mar 2012 |

Here’s Principal White from Sam Houston High School in San Antonio, TX, showing off their Wall of Success. (Thanks, Erika Bernabei!)

Arne Duncan Highlights Promise Neighborhoods on the Daily Show!

17 Feb 2012 |

Watch this hilarious and informative clip from the extended interview Jon Stewart did last night with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on The Daily Show. They talk about pilot programs to change educational standards and community involvement at a federal level, and–surprise, | Read more >

Promise Neighborhoods (and PNI) in USA Today!

22 Dec 2011 |

USA Today highlights Promise Neighborhoods across the country in an article published today, and PNI director Michael McAfee stresses what sets the Promise Neighborhood model apart:

“We are focusing on results,” McAfee says. “I think that is what makes Promise Neighborhood | Read more >

Promise Neighborhoods Will Likely Get $60 million in FY 2012

15 Dec 2011 |

Nothing is confirmed yet, as we’re still waiting for the vote next week, but we’re hearing that $60 million for Promise Neighborhoods has been included in the spending bill for FY 2012!

This is wonderful news for the communities across the country working to build Promise | Read more >

Promise Neighborhoods in the New York Times!

12 Dec 2011 |

An op-ed piece by scholars Helen F. Ladd and Edward B. Fiske makes the case that education policy isn’t doing enough to address the issues that face disadvantaged students. What would be helpful? Promise Neighborhoods, which they say is a “welcome first step,” but has been | Read more >

No Gov’t Funding? The Show Must Go On!

07 Dec 2011 |

We know how important the Promise Neighborhoods planning and implementation grants from the Department of Education are. We know how hard communities work to obtain one, and we’ve seen how transformative this funding and approach can be.

But what happens if you don’t get ED | Read more >

The Promise Ambassadors

06 Dec 2011 |

Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood’s got ‘em, and you’ve gotta meet ‘em!

Here’s the deal, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “During 2011, 20 adults and eight teens were named ‘Promise Ambassadors.’ Each agrees to reach out to at least 50 Central residents and to do a community | Read more >

Star-Studded Event for LA’s Promise!

29 Sep 2011 |

LA’s Promise just had a fabulous event at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles honoring Ryan Seacrest and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa!

Attendees included honorees Ryan Seacrest and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa with guests Julianne Hough, Randy Jackson, E!’s Ashlan Gorse, Julie Bowen, | Read more >

Brush Up Buffalo!

14 Sep 2011 |

Lots of cool stuff happening in Buffalo right now.

Check it out

New PolicyLink Map Shows Generational Divide

26 Aug 2011 |

A new map from PolicyLink illustrates the vast difference in number of people of color of different generations.

It’s really quite remarkable–for those of us in the Promise Neighborhood world, it really demonstrates who we’re serving, and a little more about what the future will | Read more >

Why Promise Neighborhoods are Keeping Score

28 Jul 2011 |

All across the country, we are seeing examples of communities working hard to improve conditions for their children. From Detroit to Brooklyn to Hayward, California, they’re building Promise Neighborhoods, communities of opportunity centered around strong schools, and they know | Read more >

Sec. Duncan Talks Up Promise Neighborhoods!

27 Jul 2011 |

At the hearing on the FY 2012 Dept of Education Budget this morning, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the following statement about the Obama Administration’s budget request for FY 2012:

“Our request would significantly boost funding for the Promise Neighborhoods program to | Read more >

It’s a Webinar World!

08 Jul 2011 |

Where to begin on these planning and implementation grants? The Department of Education has a few webinars planned to help you out!

Check out our webinar page for dates and registration links for webinars to help you with your applications.

And what about the Promise Neighborhoods | Read more >

New Neighborhood Watch!

New Neighborhood Watch!

29 Jun 2011 |

This Neighborhood Watch is a great one!

It’s got tips for financial sustainability strategies, summertime activities to keep up momentum, and highlights some great work done by some awesome Promise Neighborhoods. Arlington, Indianola, Northern Cheyenne, St. Paul, LA, Gulfton–we’re | Read more >

How to Engage Young People? Let ‘em Tell You!

09 Jun 2011 |

Students from Little Rock Promise Neighbrohood in Arkansas speak about how to get students involved in community-building events. Their suggestions include incorporating a field trip or another social activity,  making announcements through a school PA system, ending with a dinner | Read more >

Choosing a Data System? We’ve Got a Tool for That

07 Jun 2011 |

If you’re building a Promise Neighborhood, you know how difficult it is to collect and evaluate data. You also know how important it is.

But what kinds of questions do you ask yourself? What questions do you ask a data provider? What system makes sense for you? What data should you | Read more >

California Promise Neighborhood Legislation Passes Assembly!

06 Jun 2011 |

Exciting news out of California, where the State Assembly has passed the California Promise Neighborhood Initiative!

This bill, sponsored by Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes, is headed to the Senate with great support from the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink, Youth | Read more >

Houston, We Have a Promise Neighborhood!

26 May 2011 |

An absolutely delightful video from the Houston Promise Neighborhood shows us why we’re building Promise Neighborhoods in the first place! These kids have so much potential and hope, and they ARE the Promise Neighborhood that will help them realize their dreams.

Sen. Harkin Bill Announced!

17 May 2011 |

It’s official: Senator Tom Harkin announced the Promise Neighborhoods Act this morning. Press release from the office of the Senator below, including statements from Geoffrey Canada and Angela Glover Blackwell!


May 17, 2011

Contact: Justine Sessions / Kate | Read more >

House Budget Includes $30 Million for Promise Neighborhoods!

13 Apr 2011 |

Late last night, the House Appropriations Committee released the continuing resolution for FY 2011, which will fund the government until September 30, 2011. The budget resolution includes $30 million for Promise Neighborhoods, which represents a three-fold increase from FY 2010. | Read more >

It’s Funding Friday! Choice Neighborhood Grants Announced

18 Mar 2011 |

Neighborhood Planning Grants were awarded by U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to 17 neighborhoods, including some of our own! Atlanta and San Antonio Promise Neighborhoods received Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants, as did neighborhoods near the Promise Neighborhoods in | Read more >

Website Watch: Arlington on the Move

24 Feb 2011 |

Another edition of Website Watch takes us out of the warm south and up to Lawrence, Massachusetts, home of the Arlington Community of Excellence (ACE). This Promise Neighborhood is lead by The Community Group, and received a Planning Grant from the Department of Education to get | Read more >

Website Watch: Promise Neighborhoods Show Off New Sites

16 Feb 2011 |

Two great Promise Neighborhoods launched websites this week, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the web!

The Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation Promise Neighborhood encompasses the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and the communities of Colstrip and Ashland in | Read more >

Oakland Schools Receive $7.5 Million in Funding from Kaiser!

Oakland Schools Receive $7.5 Million in Funding from Kaiser!

10 Dec 2010 | Westminster Community Charter School – model school for the Buffalo Promise Initiative, courtesy of WNED Buffalo Toronto

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of communities across the country continuing on with their visions for neighborhood transformation with and without federal Promise Neighborhood grants.

Oakland, California school district is one of them! Oakland schools just received a $7.5 | Read more >

Promise Neighborhoods in the News – Pacoima and Hollywood, CA

02 Dec 2010 |

Promise Neighborhoods grantees are being featured the news! We are blogging about the good work taking place in Promise Neighborhood communities.

Business Wire has posted an article that is making its way through media across the country about the Youth Policy Institute (YPI)-led | Read more >

Department of Ed Releases List of i3 Winners!

05 Aug 2010 |

The DOE has released its list of “highest-rated applicants” for the i3 (Investing in Innovation) federal grant program totalling $648.5 million.

The i3 grants are to “provide competitive grants to applicants with a record of improving student achievement and attainment in order to | Read more > Posts Abstracts for Each PN Applicant!

03 Aug 2010 | has now hyperlinked each applicant to an abstract about their proposed Promise Neighborhood.  Scroll down past the map to the alphabetical listing of the applicants and click on the name of the applicant for more information.

More On Schools: Your Questions Answered (Part III)

18 Jun 2010 | Jennifer Kennedy, Consultant

This fourth question, specifically on charter schools in the application process,will be my last post for the week on education. Again, please feel free to comment or ask additional clarifying questions using the comment function below. You can also continue to send your questions | Read more >

Paul Tough blogs about Promise Neighborhoods!

18 Jun 2010 |

This week, Paul Tough, author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America – a book that thoughtfully researches and describes Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone model - commented about the Promise Neighborhoods grant program on his book | Read more >

More On Schools: Your Questions Answered (Part II)

16 Jun 2010 | Jennifer Kennedy, Consultant

As promised, I am posting more of your questions on the involvement of schools in the application processand my answers – please feel free to comment or ask additional clarifying questions using the comment function below. You can also continue to send your questions to Read more >

More On Schools: Your Questions Answered

11 Jun 2010 | Jennifer Kennedy, Consultant

During the Promise Neighborhoods Institute webinar on June 3rd, participants asked me and the other speakers a number of great questions on the involvement of schools in the application process. I am contributing to the PNI blog to help to answer those questions.

Each day I will | Read more >

Boston public radio looks at HCZ model

Boston public radio looks at HCZ model

21 May 2010 |

Boston public radio station, WBUR, explores Boston-based participants’ experiences at the Harlem Children’s Zone Practitioners Institute – and their thoughts on what it would take to create a similar neighborhood in Boston.  A great listen!

Listen here!

A Promise Worth Keeping

10 May 2010 |

Now this is exciting.

The Promise Neighborhoods movement is growing stronger and louder every day. It’s as though the PolicyLink motto of “Lifting Up What Works” has come to life! Community leaders across the country are embracing the Harlem Children’s Zone model and using those | Read more >