Posts Tagged ‘Texas’
In the Santa Barbara Independent, the story of how Whatever It Takes helped bring AVANCE, a great program for parents, to town:
AVANCE is an early childhood and parenting program aimed at lower-income Hispanic communities that began in San Antonio, Texas. …
The principal of McKinley [Elementary School], Emilio Handall (who will become an assistant superintendent in July), first read about AVANCE inWhatever It Takes, a book about educational reformer Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone. Handall raised the idea with Jon Clark, executive director of the James S. Bower Foundation, and before he knew it, the Santa Barbara school district had obtained grant money to send a contingency down to San Antonio to learn about the program.
Last week, the Department of Education announced a new round of Promise Neighborhood funding, including some new planning grants as well as the first implementation grants. The New America Foundation’s Early Ed Watch has all the background. The implementation grants went to organizations in Buffalo; Hayward, California; San Antonio, rural Kentucky, and Minneapolis. (Sondra Samuels, the C.E.O. of the Northside Achievement Zone, the Minneapolis group that was awarded an implementation grant, is pictured above.)
News on Promise Neighborhood projects continues to come in from around the country.
From Zanesville, Ohio, a report on a coalition led by the local United Way.
From Richmond, California, a radio report on an ambitious project to improve outcomes in the city’s Iron Triangle district. Ken Lau, who is leading the group applying for a Promise Neighborhood grant, is quoted:
LAU: Whether we become a Promise Neighborhood or not, we are inspired enough at this point and see what’s working that we will continue to move. It’s like, if you all are here just because you want the Promise Neighborhood money and that’s going to be your make or break, you probably really shouldn’t be here because you need to be in here for the long haul. And you need to have something put together that will in fact improve that community.
From Chicago, a great story in Catalyst Chicago profiling five separate groups that have filed applications from that city.
Paul Tough spent five years reporting on the Harlem Children’s Zone (see “The Canada Model“) and says there’s “an R&D feel” to the federal offer. “The Harlem Children’s Zone is one particular model,” he said, “but this isn’t about cloning it in other cities. It’s about adapting it for different places.” There will be certain shared components of any successful application, not least that schools will be used as the logistical hub for any proposal. “That’s why it’s being run by the Department of Education and not Health or anyone else,” Tough said. But this endeavor is about taking all the agencies and entities that are already in place – educational, medical, nutritional, charitable, governmental, commercial, and legal – and getting them to work together – better, smarter, and more effectively.
Complicating matters, though, is this news, from the Chronicle of Philanthropy:
Chances appear dim that President Obama will get anywhere near the full amount of money he requested in next year’s budget for Promise Neighborhoods — the program to help nonprofit groups set up antipoverty projects modeled on the Harlem Children’s Zone.
The administration requested $210-million for the effort in 2011. But the Senate Appropriations Committee last week proposed spending only $20-million, while a House Appropriations subcommittee voted earlier to allocate $60-million.
In yesterday’s Highline Times, an article about plans by the local school board to apply for a Promise Neighborhood grant for the White Center area, outside Seattle:
Highline board members approved partnering with other local service agencies to apply for a planning grant to develop a Promise Neighborhood project in the White Center area.
If the planning grant is accepted, the local agencies would receive $500,000. So far, 941 entities have applied for the grant with 20 expected to receive funding.
And in the Austin American-Statesman, news that the school board made the somewhat controversial decision to throw its weight behind the Austin Achievement Zone, one of two local initiatives applying for a Promise Neighborhood grant. (In April, I spoke at a public meeting organized by the Austin Achievement Zone.) According to the article:
By addressing the challenges associated with living in poverty, Austin Achievement Zone organizers hope to provide students with basic services — such as ensuring that mothers get prenatal care and tutoring schoolchildren — that will ultimately improve academic performance at chronically struggling campuses. Organizers said they envision being heavily involved in the lives of up to 3,400 children living near Reagan High, Webb Middle and Pickle Elementary schools.
I’ll be giving a number of speeches over the next month, including talks at:
– a conference on a “multicultural/multiracial future” this Sunday at my church: Middle Collegiate Church, in New York City
– a fundraising luncheon for Mainspring Schools in Austin on April 29.
– an event on May 16 at the Holton Career and Resource Center in Durham, N.C., organized by the East Durham Children’s Initiative.
– a school-readiness symposium in Baltimore on May 18, organized by Ready at Five.
Two proposals are being drafted in Travis County, both focusing on East Austin. One, backed by the Sooch Foundation and the Webber Family Foundation, brings together representatives of the city of Austin and AISD, as well as local nonprofits such as dropout prevention experts Communities in Schools, youth services provider LifeWorks, and affordable housing advocates Foundation Communities. Their focus is on the St. John/Coronado Hills neighborhood planning area between I-35, Highway 290, and Highway 183, potentially using AISD’s Reagan High “vertical team” – from elementary through high school – as the project backbone. Education nonprofit Southwest Key Programs is working on its own proposal for the Govalle and Johnston Terrace neighborhoods. This would build on its existing East Austin Children’s Promise program and use resources like Southwest Key’s East Austin Family Center and its charter school, the East Austin College Prep Academy.
More thoughts on a replication project in Austin, from an editorial in today’s Austin American-Statesman:
Harlem is coming to Austin. No, not the Globetrotters but an anti-poverty program called the Harlem Children’s Zone. The program has had success in turning poor, at-risk schoolchildren into thriving students and college graduates. You might be thinking this is another welfare program that aims to make kids feel good about their circumstances. You would be wrong.
Newspapers around the country are reporting on local efforts to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone and to take advantage of the Obama administration’s Promise Neighborhood initiative. Here are stories from Minneapolis, Kansas City, Jacksonville and Austin, where the Austin American-Statesman reports:
By addressing the challenges associated with living in poverty, Austin organizers hope to provide students with basic services — from ensuring that mothers get prenatal care to tutoring schoolchildren — ultimately improving academic performance at chronically struggling campuses. Organizers said they envision being heavily involved in the lives of as many as 1,500 children in such a zone.