Climb Higher Colorado (CHC), a statewide leader in cultivating authentic partnerships between institutions and the communities they serve, has become an official program of the Center for Education Policy (CFEP) at the Keystone Policy Center following a formal vote today by the CHC Board of Directors. The formal transition comes following a close partnership between Keystone and CHC for nearly a year.
“While we have already been working with the Climb Higher Colorado team for nearly a year, we are thrilled to formally welcome them under the Keystone banner,” said Christine Scanlan, president of the Keystone Policy Center. “We’ve witnessed firsthand the impact CHC’s programs like the Systems Impact Institute and the Family-Centered Learning Network have created and we look forward to further strengthening these and other initiatives through our Center for Education Policy.”
Bolstered by Keystone’s robust organizational support, resources, and network, the CHC team consisting of Yoni Dobie-Geffen and Trace Faust will continue to maintain autonomy of programming in addition to work taken on as a part of Keystone. CHC’s work will continue to support individuals and institutions to move beyond basic family engagement and instead cultivate trust and partnership in a way that positions families as leaders and co-creators in the pursuit of educational equity.
“CHC has improved Colorado’s educational ecosystem by elevating student, family, and community priorities through valuable partnerships with schools, districts, charter management organizations, state and local agencies, and community-based nonprofits. This collaborative impact is in direct accordance with Keystone’s mission,” said Berrick Abramson, director of Keystone’s Center for Education Policy. “For the last year, CHC’s addition to Keystone’s Center for Education Policy has brought increased capacity building and community engagement expertise that has allowed us to better help education leaders address problems within entrenched systems and given communities an active voice in the discussions that have the most impact on them.”
Climb Higher Colorado formally joins a growing national education practice at Keystone with its Center for Education Policy, which has recently added senior staff with diverse backgrounds in education, public policy and authentic community engagement. Former educator, superintendent and legislator, Millie Hamner, joined in 2019 after retiring from the legislature to help grow the practice and lead several high-impact projects. In September, Van Schoales, the former president of A+ Colorado and a founding partner of Education Civil Rights Now, joined the Keystone Policy Center as a senior policy director. The CFEP is led by Berrick Abramson, a national leader on P-20 education and the future of the American workforce.
Keystone’s CFEP partners with educators, policymakers, communities, and industry leaders as they increasingly focus on the challenge of ensuring all students are prepared for tomorrow’s opportunities, with equitable access to a high-quality education that prepares them for the college or career path of their choice. CFEP’s projects address a range of objectives including preparing and supporting the educator workforce, increasing access to high-quality courses and instruction that prepare students for success, supporting development of innovative learning experiences that meet the varied needs of students, and facilitating effective engagement of families and other stakeholders in the education system.