Input Sought from Public on the Future of Education in Youngstown

Facilitated “Deeper Conversations” will focus on improving the Youngstown School System YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO — As part of an initiative funded by the Wean Foundation and Youngstown Foundation to determine the aspirations and concerns associated with the future of education in Youngstown, a group of the city’s top civic leaders is inviting all of Youngstown’s concerned citizens to attend “Deeper Conversations” to be held at the community’s libraries on June 5 and June 7.

The purpose of these discussions will be to explore how people think about different choices and tradeoffs around education and the community, determine under what conditions people will step forward to act, and uncover the conditions in the community that need to change in order for people to come together and work toward the common good.

Attendees for the Deeper Conversations will be broken up into small groups of 10-20 people for a discussion lead by a locally trained conversation leader. Sessions are slated to begin at 6:00 p.m. at the following locations:

June 5 Main Library (small and large meeting rooms) 305 Wick Ave. West Branch Library 2815 Mahoning Ave.

June 7 East Library 430 Early Rd. Newport Branch Library 3730 Market St.

No advance registration is necessary.

Previous efforts leading up to this Deeper Conversations phase of gathering input have included:

  • “Ask Youngstown” interviews. Brief four-question “man-on-the-street” interactions that took place in various Youngstown neighborhoods and with faith and business groups to explore steps they believe would create impact on education issues.
  • Community Conversations. 90-minute conversations held in six neighborhoods in the Youngstown community with teachers, students, faith groups and members of the business community to talk about the challenges and barriers to moving forward as a community in general, and on education in particular.

The Deeper Conversations phase will be followed by a community-wide Town Hall, to be held at Stambaugh Auditorium on June 18. The purpose of this event will be to share the insights that have been gathered through previous efforts with the entire community, which will be included in the final report presented to the Academic Distress Commission to highlight the ways to move forward with improving education in Youngstown.