Because we know that creating sustainable changes in the community is a challenge - conflicting views, multiple resources, different data sources and analytical tools - Berkshire United Way and a group of local business, non-profit, education, government and civic leaders created Berkshire Priorities. Made up of a diverse, cross-section of community stakeholders, the group's purpose is to address strategy and maintain momentum on improvements in education and employment. The initial focus of the group is to increase access to quality early childhood learning opportunities for all children.
Pittsfield Promise: Pittsfield Promise makes the city a charter member in a national movement of local leaders, nonprofits and foundations focusing intently on third-grade reading proficiency. Education experts recognize that third grade marks the point where children shift from learning to read and begin reading to learn. Students who haven't mastered reading by the end of third grade are more likely to get stuck in a cycle of academic failure, to drop out of school, and to struggle throughout their lives.
The city-wide Pittsfield Promise -- made up of over 50 community members -- has set a goal to have at least 90% of Pittsfield third graders reading at grade level by 2020.