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Op-Ed: Place Matters for Student Success

Submitted by: Geoffrey Canada, Founder and President of the Harlem Children’s Zone Published in the Dayton Daily News: April 30, 2023


DDN Editor’s Note: National organization StriveTogether announced this week that Learn to Earn Dayton received its highest designation - Systems Transformation. The honor signifies that Learn to Earn Dayton is on the leading edge of building the civic infrastructure necessary for all students to succeed, a designation bestowed on only three communities in the nation. Throughout this week, Learn to Earn Dayton’s local, state and national partners will highlight the successes of their collective action approach, and the power of aligning with a shared vision across the cradle-to-career continuum to ensure that all learners have equal opportunity to achieve.


In Dayton, and in cities across the country, the zip code where you are born is the greatest determinant of life expectancy, educational attainment, and career advancement. Faced with this reality, young people, and families in urban neighborhoods like Dayton struggle to hang on to hope for a brighter future. As hope fades, we find that there is a deterioration in the physical health and emotional wellbeing of children and families.

Learn to Earn Dayton is proving that there is a way to keep hope alive. The NorthWest Dayton Partnership, a community-centered, power-building and systems change initiative is taking a different approach by insisting that those most disenfranchised are part of the conversations and power is centered in decision-making by those directly impacted.

Read the full letter at


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