GS4A Resolutions for 2017

Yes, I know. New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken. Whether it’s giving something up (eating, smoking) or taking something up (exercise, salads), resolutions prime us for disappointment and discouragement.

Still, they express aspirations and hopes at the start of a new year. They present an opportunity to start anew on a clean page, when hopes are high.

John Wilkinson is pastor of Third Presbyterian Church and co-convener of Great Schools for All

The leadership team at Great Schools for All hopes that 2017 moves us forward in significant ways. We know that our goals are challenging, but we are recommitted to achieving them. In that spirit, here are a few (unofficial) resolutions for our work. We invite you to join us in our goals.


  • Tell our story with deepened passion to more and more people. At the heart of our work is the conviction that achievement will increase and graduation rates will rise only when the concentration of poverty in our schools is reduced. We need to remind people who have forgotten that, and introduce this concept to new friends.
  • Be creative and purposeful in developing models. We re-commit ourselves to talking to any and all about our work. We do not have a specific kind of school in mind, nor do we want to operate a school. As long as a school meets our goal of socio-economic integration, we’re good.
  • Continue to network. Many groups in our community are thinking about this, whether education or poverty. We are glad to fly the GS4A flag anywhere! Call us – we’ll show up.
  • Support those who are working in parallel ways to enhance education and reduce poverty. We are in this together and it will take a village to make a difference.
  • Launch an economically integrated summer program in the summer of 2017, working with partners and funders. This does not require any legislative change, only energy, collaborators and money. If you’re interested, let us know.
  • Ramp up our social media presence.
  • Strengthen our volunteer network.
  • Remember that the answer to “how” is “yes.”
  • Last, and most importantly, keep the children, youth and families – especially the poorest among us – at the center of our work. That will keep the urgency dialed up and will remind us of the importance of our work.

Again, this is an unofficial list, but we hope it will serve as a continual reminder of why we are doing this and how important it is. If you have resolutions to add, please share them with us. And more importantly, if you have time or energy or money to share, join us! And happy New Year!