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An online collection of education, income and health news by and for United Ways and their community partners
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United Way Community Impact Connections Newsletter - October 2012

United Way Community Impact Connections Newsletter - October 2012 | United Way | Scoop.it

The latest edition of the United Way Community Impact Connections Newsletter is out!

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Out-of-school Time Summit: Continuing the Momentum | United Way

Out-of-school Time Summit: Continuing the Momentum | United Way | United Way | Scoop.it

Have you ever left a conference or retreat feeling recharged only to get bogged down by the day-to-day challenges once you get back to your desk? We’ve all been there.


That’s why United Way and its partners have identified critical action steps coming out of last week’s successful Out-of-School Time Summit. The Summit was a great opportunity for national nonprofits, local United Ways and key stakeholders to discuss how to strengthen out-of-school supports and services for our young people. While this was an inspiring event and the attendees left feeling reenergized to do the work at hand – it begs the question, “What’s next?”


To continue the momentum, we invite out-of-school time advocates to join us in helping enact policy, align and coordinate efforts, mobilize and engage communities, raise awareness, and lend their voices to better ensure that youth have access to high-quality out-of-school time opportunities.

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The Impact of Skipping School

The Impact of Skipping School | United Way | Scoop.it

It is estimated that seven million students (K-12) miss 18 days or more each year, and the concentration of that ...


 It is estimated that seven million students (K-12) miss 18 days or more each year, and the concentration of that absenteeism is in middle and high schools. In some states, as many as 1 in 3 high school students are absent on any given day.


Research shows that student achievement suffers after only five absences. Students who miss more than ten days of school are more than 20 percent less likely to graduate from high school than their peers and are 25 percent less likely of ever enrolling in any type of college. Those who drop out are two and a half times more likely to be on welfare than high school graduates. Those who do attend college are less likely to be prepared, more likely to enroll in remedial class, and more likely to leave college before earning a degree.


In a recent report from the Get Schooled Foundation, Skipping to Nowhere, more than 500 teens in 25 cities were given in-depth interviews to get an accurate picture of truancy in America. The report found that skipping school is behavior developed by the end of 9th grade. Of current sophomores, juniors and seniors who skip, nearly three quarters of them started skipping in middle school or during their first year of high school. Class cutting transcends socioeconomic, racial, and geographic backgrounds.


The interviews revealed that most students face few or minor immediate consequences for skipping school, and many do not think missing class impacts their grades, their chances of graduating, or whether they’ll attend college. According to the report, more than 80 percent of students who skip school once a week believe it is unlikely they will fall behind in class. Nearly half of skippers are absent at least part of the day about once a week or more and 42 percent of students said their parents “never” or “rarely” know when they skip school. Young people are often unaware that skipping even a few days of school can dramatically affect their grades and even decrease their odds of graduating.



The Get Schooled Foundation’s report supports past research that shows a direct link between family engagement and student achievement. Parents are the most important defense against absenteeism. Following are some tips on how parents can prevent their child from cutting class:


Be involved with your teen’s school. Attend Parent’s Night and other school functions. Volunteer within the school. Get to know your teen’s teachers. Be aware of your child’s grades and attendance record. The more involved you are in your teen’s school the more likely your teen will perceive education as important and the less likely they are to skip class.


Encourage open communication. Allow your teen to vent about a teacher, a certain class, etc. without providing any judgment. Everyone needs to feel heard and understood. If you believe your child is facing a challenge at school, talk to their teacher.


Explain the importance of attendance. Give your child a vision for their future and then explain how skipping school impacts that vision. Tell them some of the statistics from this report and explain that skipping school significantly changes their ability to have a bright future.


Live in the real world. Students surveyed expressed a desire for a connection between their ‘real lives’ and what they learn in school. Too often there is a complete disconnect between their lives outside of school, their dreams and hopes for the future and how they spend each day. Draw the lines for them so they can see the usefulness of what they are learning.


Repeat the message. When the message to avoid skipping only comes from the school principal, it’s not as effective. Having the message about the importance of attending school come from several sources – parents, teachers, neighbors, the local truancy officer, police, celebrities, athletes, etc. – can have a dramatically stronger effect on student decision-making.


Establish consequences for truancy. Tell your teen that skipping school is not acceptable in your family and provide a consequence if you discover they have skipped. Parents should also inform their teens of their local area’s laws for truancy.


Final Thoughts…

According to the US Department of Education, skipping school is one of the first signs of trouble in a young person’s life. When young people start skipping school, they are telling their parents and teachers that they are in trouble or are giving up. Students are truant for different reasons. Yes, some just would rather hang out with their friends than go to school, but others may skip a day of school because they were concerned for their personal safety or did not want to take a test for which they were unprepared. It’s important to find out the reason they are skipping and address it directly. If they are bored, show them the correlation between what they learn and what they want to do in the future. If they are avoiding a test, determine the reason and help them with their studying or provide a tutor. If they are scared for their safety, work with the school to stop bullying. Do not ignore their cry for help… skipping school or cutting class means there is a problem to solve in your teen’s life.

Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, February 20, 2016 9:26 AM

Is it worse or the same to

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Department Senior Officials to Participate in United Way Leaders’ Summit on Ensuring Quality Out-of-School Time for Students | U.S. Department of Education

Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, and Brenda Girton-Mitchell, director of the Center on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will serve as panelists in a discussion on the need to create high-quality out-of-school time systems for students in every community. On Thursday, Oct. 18, Shelton and Girton-Mitchell will discuss how the Department is promoting models of collaboration to improve student outcomes and the effective use of extended learning time at the “Re-Imagining Out-of-School Time: A United Way Thought Leaders’ Summit” in Alexandria, Va. 


The summit will address a range of issues, including the most recent developments in policy, research, investments, and innovations in out-of-school time and will examine how the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act may impact these areas.  The summit also will explore thoughts on how to expand learning during non-school hours, including options such as extended school days, traditional afterschool programs, and summer learning opportunities.


The summit is sponsored by the United Way.

Event 1

Who : Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, U.S. Department of Education Brenda Girton-Mitchell, director, Center on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, U.S. Department of Education  What : Panel discussion on “Re-Imagining Out-of-School Time: A United Way Thought Leaders’ Summit” When : 4:15 p.m. ET, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 Where : Mary M. Gates Learning Center-United Way Worldwide 701 North Fairfax Street Alexandria, Va.
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Public Health Infographic - American Public Health Association

Public Health Infographic

Public health helps kids grow up healthy and helps build strong communities. Public health saves lives and saves money. But it is often tricky describing public health and its impact in concrete terms, which is a critical step in building support for these important programs. This infographic is an excellent tool to show the positive impact of public health and reinforce the importance of funding for public health programs at all levels.


Share this infographic widely—with your friends, family, community, local media and policymakers. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your website or send it via email to spread the word about public health.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Being college ready means...

[INFOGRAPHIC] Being college ready means... | United Way | Scoop.it

All In

Being college ready means never having to take developmental (non-credit bearing) classes in college. Students who require remedial courses in college are much less likely to complete a degree than those who arrive college-ready.


Partners for Postsecondary Success (PPS) is an initiative that is building community partnerships with the goal of doubling the number of low-income young adults with postsecondary credentials that will lead to living wage employment.


The PPS initiative was created with the guidance of MDC, a non-profit organization based in  North Carolina that helps communities across the nation close the gaps in education and guidance that separate young people from opportunity.


PPS was launched with a $100,000 one-year planning grant and a $1.5 million implementation grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as $240,000 in funding from local individuals, businesses and foundation.


United Way of Southern Cameron County provides administrative and leadership support to the initiative. Visit our Partners section to see who else is All In.


OUR GOAL: Double the number of low-income young adults in Brownsville who earn postsecondary credentials with labor market value by 2025. Learn more: United Way of Southern Cameron County MDC Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Our Framework

There’s a science behind student success, and at All In we follow a proven system that dramatically improves college readiness and college completion. Our framework is an adaptation from the Gates Foundation’s System for Student Success Model. Its multiphase implementation includes the gathering of student data, student engagement activities, collaborative work from faculty, administration and trustees and an emphasis on community partnerships and employment opportunities.


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School officials: P16 education project a success

School officials: P16 education project a success | United Way | Scoop.it

CALDWELL — The P16 education project — a partnership between the Caldwell School District, Caldwell YMCA and United Way — has been up and running for a little over a year, and educators say they’re thrilled with the results so far.


 Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012 12:05 am

CALDWELL — The P16 education project — a partnership between the Caldwell School District, Caldwell YMCA and United Way — has been up and running for a little over a year, and educators say they’re thrilled with the results so far.

The program aims to guide and support students from preschool until “16th grade” — which could be anything from a university degree to vocational training to military service — so they can emerge from young adulthood prepared for successful, productive careers.

And that means three things, project director Al Obayuwana said: Preschool, out-of-school learning, and P16’s Career Aspiration Program, also known as CAP. Each component, he explained, helps give students the edge they need to succeed at every level of their education.


Caldwell educators are true pioneers for this kind of comprehensive approach to education, district superintendent Tim Rosandick said — he’s not aware of any other district that takes such an organized, structured approach to guiding students through their education.

And it’s something he said other districts may ultimately benefit from.


“We’re finding some success, and I think other school districts would have an interest in putting something like this in place in their communities,” Rosandick said.

At each level, Obayuwana said, family engagement is crucially important. After all, the best educational programs in the world can only do so much if parents aren’t actively engaged. And that’s one area, he said, where P16 achieved much.

“With our preschool conferences last year, we had 100 percent parent participation,” Obayuwana said. “The parents are a huge part, and have been really receptive to what we’re doing.”

And that parental participation continues through high school and beyond, he continued. At every level, P16 hosts family nights to facilitate family involvement and community building.

That’s crucial, Rosandick said, because it’s easier to build a child’s skills early than to address deficiencies later.

Out-of-school learning is also critically important, Obayuwana said. By the time they’re done with elementary school, students who spend their summers doing educational activities can be up to two years more advanced than those who don’t. The project aims to narrow that gap by encouraging activities such as museum visits, zoo outings and other extracurricular educational opportunities.

“What I like about that aspect of the program is that any parent can get their child involved in these out-of-school programs,” Rosandick said. “It’s not targeting exclusively just one group of our population.”

So what’s the next step? Keep working to increase awareness and reach out to funding sources, Obaywana said. The project has already attracted such benefactors as the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, the Whittenberger Foundation and Crookham Co.

“Funding for these things is obviously critical to make them happen,” Rosandick said. “We’re just fortunate in Caldwell that those and others have helped bring the finances together.”

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Public Broadcasting Takes Role in Improving Graduation Rates

Public Broadcasting Takes Role in Improving Graduation Rates | United Way | Scoop.it

More than 100 public television stations showed a seven-hour telethon on Saturday that asked viewers to work with community organizations to lower the nation’s high school dropout rate.



More than 100 public television stations reaching two-thirds of the nation’s viewers turned over their air on Saturday to an unusual seven-hour telethon broadcast live from WNET-TV’s Lincoln Center studio in New York.        Enlarge This Image Brian Harkin for The New York Times

Brian Williams of NBC with Jaden Francois, 7, after they appeared in Saturday's telethon.      


A parade of media stars, including NBC’s Brian Williams, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, CBS’s Rebecca Jarvis and public media’s Maria Hinojosa and Ray Suarez, exhorted viewers to “call the number on your screen,” but they were not seeking membership pledges. Instead, they asked viewers to sign up to be “American Graduate Day Champions,” and connect with community organizations working on the nation’s high school dropout crisis.    


The telethon was part of the fast-growing American Graduate initiative, seeded in the last year with about $5 million in grants to public television stations by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.       

“Education is probably one of the hottest issues facing the country,” said Neal Shapiro, president and chief executive of WNET, which assembled the telethon in just four months. “I think people didn’t realize how huge the problem is, or how much success there could be and how local groups are actually making a difference.” 


While graduation rates have inched up in recent years, nearly 25 percent of students over all drop out.      


CPB, whose partners include the America’s Promise Alliance, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, has channeled an additional $10 million into program grants. The grants are for televised teacher town hall meetings, programs from Tavis Smiley and the Independent Television Service, and a coming four-hour PBS documentary, “DC Met: Life Inside School Reform,” from the National Black Programming Consortium, among other programs.  


Shows this week include a “Frontline” hour, a five-part “PBS NewsHour” report by Mr. Suarez and a public radio documentary. (Coincidentally, NBC News is broadcasting its “Education Nation” reports this week.) But stations have embraced American Graduate beyond the shows; many have become deeply involved with the broad swath of local community organizations tackling issues including abuse and abandonment, and teacher quality.       


In St. Louis, the Nine Network of Public Media is coordinating 51 local partners, which have divided into groups addressing such topics as early intervention, and parent engagement strategies, said Jack Galmiche, Nine Network’s president and chief executive. He characterized Nine Network’s role as helping disparate community organizations align their work more effectively.    


“Being in this community for 50 years, being a trusted institution, when we ask these groups to come together they show up and they show up with the best intentions,” Mr. Galmiche said. 


Other stations are developing curriculums for schools and production training programs for at-risk youth.  


While public television stations have long been involved in early childhood education through their preschool shows, the American Graduate work is far afield from the stations simply being an outlet for “Sesame Street,” or the prime-time hit “Downton Abbey.”       

“This is a next-generation relationship with our community,” said Rich Homberg, president and general manager of Detroit Public Television.       

Mr. Galmiche called it a return to public broadcasting’s original mission. “Being a provider of education and educational resources and civil discourse were the principles we were founded on in 1954,” he said. “Our value to this community is, simply, how do we improve community life?”   


John Kania, a managing director of nonprofit consultant FSG, which has worked with the stations, said shrinking revenues helped spur the new thinking. 


“There are serious conversations going on within public media right now about how do they improve their relevance both for society and as a media asset going forward,” at a time when state and federal support is dwindling, and consumers have lots of media options, Mr. Kania said. He commended the strategy, but said it was also risky, “because they’re working on a lot of issues where people have failed for many years to make progress.”    


Any impact on dropout rates will take years, raising questions of long term commitment. “Stations always chase the grant money to do something and then once the grant money stops flowing they stop doing it,” said Robert J. Daino, president and chief executive of Syracuse’s WCNY, which received American Graduate grants. He praised the program “as long as stations remain committed.”  


CPB is committed to supporting the initiative for five years, said Patricia S. Harrison, the corporation’s president and chief executive. “In order for this to be taken seriously, this cannot be a drive-by,” she said, adding that the goal is to find other support. Nine Network, for one, has raised $500,000 so far to support the dropout work.  


Ms. Harrison said she is hopeful the work will also convince detractors on Capitol Hill who want to cut public broadcasting’s funds. “It should, because it speaks to an issue that belongs to all Americans. It’s not partisan,” she said.      


“It speaks to the fact that the country is in trouble and that we cannot tolerate or even sustain a million Americans dropping out without changing how we think of ourselves as Americans,” she added. “If that doesn’t resonate with Capitol Hill, I really don’t know why.”  


Organizers said Sunday it was too early to say how many new volunteers the telethon generated. But United Way executives who appeared said they were pleased.    


United Way and more than a dozen public television stations are meeting this week to discuss a more formal relationship around the issue, said Stacey D. Stewart, an executive vice president at United Way Worldwide, in an interview at the WNET studio. “We have to activate action on the ground with volunteer programs and advocacy,” and public television stations can help get the message out on the local level, she said.       


A version of this article appeared in print on September 24, 2012, on page B3 of the New York edition with the headline: Public Television Takes Role in Curbing Dropout Rates.
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Engagement, Mobilization and Impact | United Way

Engagement, Mobilization and Impact | United Way | United Way | Scoop.it

“The work that United Way is doing is invaluable” Mayor Julian Castro, San Antonio Texas

San Antonio Mayor, Julian Castro addressed United Way’s Early Grade Reading Mobilization Leaders on Thursday, noting how proud he was of the work that United Way was doing in jumpstarting community inertia and bringing people together in a community-wide effort around Early Grade Reading.

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Jobs are a cornerstone of development, says World Development Report 2013

Jobs with high development payoffs can transform societies and spur prosperity...



Washington, October 1, 2012 -- In developing countries, jobs are a cornerstone of development, with a pay off far beyond income alone. They are critical for reducing poverty, making cities work, and providing youth with alternatives to violence, says a new World Bank report. 


The World Development Report 2013: Jobs stresses the role of strong private sector led growth in creating jobs and outlines how jobs that do the most for development can spur a virtuous cycle. The report finds that poverty falls as people work their way out of hardship and as jobs empower women to invest more in their children. Efficiency increases as workers get better at what they do, as more productive jobs appear, and as less productive ones disappear. Societies flourish as jobs foster diversity and provide alternatives to conflict. 


“A good job can change a person’s life, and the right jobs can transform entire societies. Governments need to move jobs to center stage to promote prosperity and fight poverty,” says World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, "It's critical that governments work well with the private sector, which accounts for 90 percent of all jobs. Therefore, we need to find the best ways to help small firms and farms grow. Jobs equal hope. Jobs equal peace. Jobs can make fragile countries become stable." 


The report’s authors highlight how jobs with the greatest development payoffs are those that raise incomes, make cities function better, connect the economy to global markets, protect the environment, and give people a stake in their societies.  


“Jobs are the best insurance against poverty and vulnerability,” says Kaushik Basu, World Bank Chief Economist and Sr. Vice President, “Governments play a vital enabling role by creating a business environment that enhances the demand for labor.” 


The global economic crisis and other recent events have raised employment issues to the center of the development dialogue. The WDR authors, who processed over 800 surveys and censuses to arrive at their findings, estimate that worldwide, more than 3 billion people are working, but nearly half work in farming, small household enterprises, or in casual or seasonal day labor, where safety nets are modest or sometimes non-existent and earnings are often meager.


“The youth challenge alone is staggering. More than 620 million young people are neither working nor studying. Just to keep employment rates constant, the worldwide number of jobs will have to increase by around 600 million over a 15-year period”, says Martin Rama, WDR Director. 


But in many developing countries, where farming and self-employment are prevalent and safety nets are modest at best, unemployment rates can be low. In those places, most poor people work long hours but cannot make ends meet. And the violation of basic rights is not uncommon. Therefore, the quality and not just the number of jobs is vitally important.


The Report advances a three-stage approach to help governments meet these objectives:

First, solid fundamentals – including macroeconomic stability, an enabling business environment, human capital, and the rule of law- have to be in place. Second, labor policies should not become an obstacle to job creation, they should also provide access to voice and social protection to the most vulnerable. Third, governments should identify which jobs would do the most for development given their specific country context, and remove or offset obstacles to private sector creation of such jobs.

Understanding the particular jobs challenge for a given region or country is essential. Differences in the structure of employment across regions, across genders, and across age groups are striking. For example, 6 out of 7 workers in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are wage earners, but 4 out of 5 workers in Sub-Saharan African are farmers or self-employed. Many more women than men are in non-wage work in low- and lower-middle income countries. Meanwhile, in middle-income countries women are more likely to be wage workers, though too often they earn less than men.


Policy priorities are different in agrarian societies and in urbanizing countries.  Making smallholder farming more productive is key in the first case, while better infrastructure, connectivity, housing, and city planning are vital in the second. Demography matters too. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 10 million youth enter the labor force every year, but in many middle-income countries the population is aging and in some the labor force is shrinking. Skills and the removal of privilege in access to markets and jobs are needed to tackle youth unemployment. But longer working lives and affordable social protection are needed in aging societies. 


Focusing on the key features of different country types can help identify more clearly the kinds of jobs that would make the greatest contribution to development in each case. This focus allows for an analysis of the potential tradeoffs between living standards, productivity, and social cohesion in a specific context. It provides clues about the obstacles to job creation and, ultimately, the priorities for policy makers as they identify the most important constraints to job creation and how to overcome them.


Policy makers should tackle these challenges by answering such questions as: Should countries build their development strategies around growth, or should they focus on jobs?  Can entrepreneurship be fostered, especially among microenterprises in developing countries, or are entrepreneurs born?  Are greater investments in education and training a prerequisite for employability, or can skills be built through jobs?  Amidst crises and structural shifts, should jobs, not just workers, be protected?  


Jobs agendas at the country level are connected by the migration of people and the migration of jobs. Policies for jobs in one country can thus have spillovers on other countries – both positive and negative.  The report explores whether international coordination mechanisms, such as bilateral migration agreements, could enhance the positives and mitigate the negatives.

”To move jobs center stage, we also need reliable country-level data that is disaggregated and covers more than urban or formal sector jobs,” says Rama.


The World Bank Group fosters job growth through its two main channels of support to the developing world -- the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) -- as well as through the IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. Assistance comes in the form of policy advice, support for private sector development plus loans and programs to advance urbanization, infrastructure and human development (including social protection). 

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Wellness and Prevention Health Reform Digest, October 1, 2012 Trust for America's Health

Wellness and Prevention Health Reform Digest, October 1, 2012

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United Ways Leading National Grade-Level Reading Network | United Way

United Ways Leading National Grade-Level Reading Network | United Way | United Way | Scoop.it

When we think of the importance of reading, we may not immediately think of high school graduation.  The fact is, 96% of kids who read well by 3rd grade will graduate high school.  That sounds promising, right?  But one in three American fourth graders score below “basic” in the nation’s only national assessment of reading.  That means one in three fourth graders can barely read.  Not good.


That’s why it’s heartening to hear about a new national network of communities pushing to increase reading proficiency by 3rd grade, as one strategy to help future generations get a good job. Some 58 – more than one-third – of the 124 communities in the new Grade-Level Reading Communities Network are being led or fueled by United Ways.  Mayors, community foundations, libraries and literacy councils are also at the forefront. See the full list of communities here.


What’s exciting about this movement is that leaders and citizens from all walks of life are involved. In Roanoke, one of the communities named as an All-America city recently for its grade-level reading work, everyday people are part of the solution. People are volunteering as reading buddies in child care centers, or reading tutors for students through 3rd grade.   Civic organizations like the Junior League are leading book drives, and people all over the community are stepping up to make sure disadvantaged children have books at school and at home.  The United Way of Roanoke Valley is fueling the volunteerism efforts, as part of its focus on education work.


Want to volunteer as a reader for a kid in your community?  Chances are there’s a struggling reader who could use your help.  Check out the options at www.unitedway.org/volunteer.

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Weigh In: Talking to your children about weight + health › STOP Obesity Alliance

A conversation guide for parents and adult caregivers of kids ages 7-11 years old.

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Hospitals and Community Organizing: Q&A with Robert Kahn

Hospitals and Community Organizing: Q&A with Robert Kahn | United Way | Scoop.it

Hospitals interested in providing more than clinical services see the value of connecting with United Ways to go “upstream.” United Ways can assist their hospital partners with addressing the social determinants of health—housing, employment, income and education—in a comprehensive way. The work of the Community Health Initiative at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and their relationship with United Way of Greater Cincinnati is just one example.


Hospitals and Community Organizing: Q&A with Robert Kahn Robert Kahn, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (photo courtesy of the hospital)


The Community Health Initiative (CHI), a program of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, includes work with nontraditional community partners to support community organizing and address critical children’s health issues in the community. For example, using geocoding technology to identify areas of greatest need—“hotspots”—by mapping clusters of readmitted asthma patients to substandard housing units owned by the same landlord. CHI partnered with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, which helped tenants form an association and compel the property owner to make repairs. CHI also makes referrals to Legal Aid for patients who need help with Medicaid benefits or require other legal assistance. CHI has developed specific health metrics with which it evaluates the effectiveness of its programs and shares these data with local community organizations and CHI’s community partners.


The CHI work was featured in a new community benefit issue brief from The Hilltop Institute at UMBC, “Community Building and the Root Causes of Poor Health.”


NewPublicHealth recently spoke with Robert Kahn, MD, MPH, who is the Director of Research in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.


NewPublicHealth: What are the goals of the Community Health Initiative?


Robert Kahn: The Cincinnati Children's Hospital board established in its strategic plan for 2015 four goals that relate to the health of all 190,000 children in our county. The goals relate to:  infant mortality, unintentional injuries, asthma, and obesity rates as they relate to hospital readmissions. Our plan is to build a strategy and an infrastructure to cover the ground between a more traditional clinical approach and a truly public and social wellbeing approach to these conditions.


NPH: Why are partners so critical?



Robert Kahn: The hospital realized it can't possibly do this on its own. We need community collaborators to work with. The strategy we've taken is to think about how quality improvement approaches that we've used internally, say, to reduce central line infections, could be applied in a more public health kind of a way. So, how can we pick a small geographic area, think about rates of asthma or unintentional injury in that geographic area, begin to identify partners who would like to work on it with us, develop a shared understanding of the need and the drivers of the problem, and then begin to try to move at least the intermediate measures and eventually the final outcome measures.


NPH: Using unintentional injury as an example, how did the collaborations happen?


Robert Kahn: The hospital’s head of trauma surgery is leading our unintentional injury initiative. He used hospital discharge data to find the rates of unintentional injury between ages 1 and 4 in over 90 neighborhoods. Using one neighborhood, Norwood, as an example, he sat down with the mayor, the head of the fire department, EMS, and the public health department to begin thinking collectively about what we could do. They tried a few strategies that didn't work to get into homes to install safety equipment, and now they’ve shifted to community-wide safety days to attract parent attention and interest.


They’ve had two safety days in which they’ve gotten tremendous numbers of volunteers and they've actually installed safety equipment in about 20 percent of all the homes in that community with children under age 5, with equipment such as smoke alarms and safety gates. But the hospital soon realized that we can't be in the business of doing this in every community ourselves. Now we’re looking at how we can develop a cadre of community leaders so that it can eventually be scalable to other neighborhoods. And we are able to share with communities the rates of unintentional injuries in children in their community, because we take care of 90 percent of the emergency room visits and hospitalizations for kids in the county. So, essentially we are a population-based provider and can almost take on a more public health frame because we have all that discharge data.


NPH: How do you crystalize the hospital’s role in community organizing?


Robert Kahn: I see our role as bringing the health data and our strength in methodology to the community, and in some sense helping be a catalyst or an instigator for creating change on the ground. For the actual organizing, I would much rather find an existing child health consortium on the ground. A community has to own this in the long run for it to be sustainable.


NPH: Who are the partners that are so critical to get perspective beyond health care?


Robert Kahn: I think the goal, from my standpoint, is to get upstream of the health problems and actually think about the social determinants of health and help address issues like housing, employment, income and education. As we think about that, we've tried to consciously identify who are the very high leverage organizations that can help county-wide, as well as local organizations that can do more of the grassroots work. We're really trying to develop collaboration, for example, with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. They have bold education and income goals and increasingly are developing bold health goals. So, how can we partner with an organization like United Way that distributes funding to agencies in the community, and use that as a high leverage point for action. Similarly, the Cincinnati public schools play a pivotal role in the lives of tens of thousands of children. How can we work at the highest levels with them as well to develop an agenda around good nutrition and physical activity?


NPH: Tell us about the asthma hot spotting project.


Robert Kahn: With the hospital discharge data for asthma, we can look at uncontrolled asthma practically in real-time, and then geocode those events to neighborhoods. We have maps now of the counties where we know where the asthma hotspots are, for example. We can give feedback on a monthly basis to see if things are changing. That drives a sense of urgency for us and also hopefully for the community partners to create change as quickly as possible, or to create improvements as quickly as possible.


NPH: And what is an example of an innovative partnership the hospital engaged in to tackle issues that span beyond clinical care?


Robert Kahn: An absolutely amazing collaboration is one between physicians taking care of low income kids and lawyers committed to low income families through the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati. We've built a partnership in which there's a legal advocate in our clinic five days a week. We now send over 700 referrals a year to the legal aid advocate. In that clinic, we have 15,000 children and over 35,000 visits a year and physicians ask about housing conditions, but this partnership with legal aid has uncovered really important patterns. Three separate physicians referred a family to legal aid where the family reported that the landlord told them, in the heat of summer, that they'd be evicted if they put in a portable air conditioner into the unit.


Legal aid asked the simple question that a physician never would have asked—who's your landlord? They discovered there was a single developer who owned 19 buildings in Cincinnati who had gone into foreclosure, and all 19 buildings, with over 600 units, were falling into disrepair. They went in and formed tenant associations, worked with Fannie Mae and the property management company for the buildings to institute systemic repairs in about eleven of the buildings including new roofs, cooling and heating. By physicians working hand in glove with a great organization like legal aid, whose mission is stabilizing housing, stabilizing income, we together achieved sort the broader aim of addressing social determinants.


>>Read a brand new study published in Pediatrics describing the outcomes of this medical-legal partnership.


NPH: Have you seen any progress so far, on any of these issues?


Robert Kahn: That's always the hard question. We think we're beginning to see a signal, especially with the injury work in Norwood. It's very early and we still have a lot of mistakes to make and learn from. For asthma, there's a team that's been working on the issue for a while, and we see a reduction in readmissions among children on Medicaid. And they've done that by trying to move more of the care out into the communities, such as a home health program where they're working on self-management of asthma in the home, as well as home delivery of asthma medication to improve adherence.


One of the huge wins for me was when I saw some of the hospitals' approach to goal setting and data-informed approaches appearing in grants that community organizations are submitting, independent of us. They’ve now put in a couple of grants to support their own neighborhood work where they’ve asked to borrow our key driver diagram or asked us to suggest quality improvement approaches. They’re finding value in what we’ve offered to put into proposals of their own, which creates a more sustainable model for change.

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6 Ways to Advocate Health and Wellness for Toddlers | United Way

6 Ways to Advocate Health and Wellness for Toddlers | United Way | United Way | Scoop.it
Children depend on adults. Here are six ways parents can be involved when it comes to health and wellness at daycare in school.
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Chess: The Best Move for Students By Salome Thomas-EL

Chess: The Best Move for Students By Salome Thomas-EL | United Way | Scoop.it

Cognitive development and academic independence are but two of the benefits gained by students who learn how to play chess, writes Salome Thomas-EL.



Chess: The Best Move for Students By Salome Thomas-EL

The next time President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are sitting together discussing education reform, I hope that it will be across the table from one of my elementary or middle school students. If so, there will inevitably be a chessboard between them, and I am certain my students will win every match.


My inner-city students, many of whom come from some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., have traveled the country to compete in, and win, local, state, and national chess championships. Gov. Jack Markel of Delaware and former Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, all smart men, have challenged my students to chess matches and lost. A host of mayors, members of Congress, senators, and school superintendents—anyone brave enough to visit city schools and spend time with my students—all made the same mistake of taking them on, with similar results. These are the same children that most of society has forgotten. Yet they have gone on to attend magnet and private high schools, competitive colleges, and graduate and law schools.


Unfortunately, most of our nation's urban and rural students won't have the same opportunities as my chess players because, as a general rule, we don't teach our children to think critically or to think ahead. We don't teach them to use logic and reason or to consider rewards and consequences before they make decisions.


In the United States, we have become so focused on test scores that we have forgotten to teach our students to appreciate the process of learning, to embrace struggle, and to build self-efficacy and resilience.


Students must learn that they are not born smart, but become smart through hard work and the process of growth. Chess can help establish that foundation for students as young as 5 and 6 years old, and it is simple enough to learn quickly. Students can use a few pieces, or all of them, as they gradually learn the game. Imagine young kindergartners or 1st and 2nd graders beginning to learn to anticipate moves, think ahead, and solve multistep problems. All children need to learn how to make difficult and abstract decisions independently and think logically and efficiently. And teaching these skills to them at an early age can make a big difference to them as they progress through their education.


"In the United States, we have become so focused on test scores that we have forgotten to teach our students to appreciate the process of learning, to embrace struggle, and to build self-efficacy and resilience."    

I have used chess as a teaching tool in the three schools where I have worked as a turnaround principal. In each instance, most of the students were city kids, poor and minority. My mission has been to teach the game of chess to every student I have known over my 25-year career.


My current school, Thomas Edison Charter, in Wilmington, Del., serves students in grades K-8, 96 percent of whom are living at or below the poverty level. Many of our students are seen as at risk of not meeting with academic success before entering our charter school, yet they excel, in part, because of our instructional curriculum and the support they receive from the administration, teachers, and staff. But the success of our students is also a credit to our after-school chess program, which has had a tremendous impact on how our older students think and problem-solve.


This past school year, we received Delaware's Academic Achievement Award for closing the achievement gap in a high-poverty school, improving our state test scores, and moving those scores closer to the state average. In addition, this past summer, our 8th graders were recognized for scoring over 90 percent proficiency in math and 85 percent proficiency in English/language arts on our state tests.


A year ago, I met with my teachers, and we decided to give our 2nd and 3rd graders the opportunity to learn and benefit from chess with our First Move program. Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are doing the same in our Algebra Through Chess course. In total, we have almost 100 students who participate in our after-school chess program every day.


It goes without saying that exposing children to academics in the classroom advances cognition; however, games like chess, played in the classroom, can foster memory, skill at planning and strategizing, and development of cognition. Much of the traditional U.S. curriculum in the early grades does not allow for students to learn and teach themselves. Chess permits students to think on their own without the assistance of adults.


Students exposed to chess are much more optimistic about overcoming obstacles and struggles on a regular basis. Research supports the idea that schools that establish innovative programs like chess playing develop high expectations for their students and the atmosphere in which their students can achieve them.


America has much to learn from the rest of the world regarding education. Countries as small as Armenia have made chess a mandatory school subject for children over the age of 6, with the goal of teaching strategic thinking to all elementary students. As an advocate for this course of instruction, the chess grandmaster and former world champion Gary Kasparov is challenging countries around the globe to adopt chess as part of their elementary curricula. Implementing chess in the U.S. curriculum could be the low-cost answer to many of our education woes.


So many young people are raised to question their intelligence. Chess helps shatter that doubt. Chess teaches our young people about rewards and consequences, both short- and long-term. It challenges young people to be responsible for their actions. It cuts across racial and economic lines and allows poor kids to excel at a game thought to be reserved for the affluent. It boosts self-confidence. It is the great equalizer.


When a school redefines its culture by building a vision and commitment that is innovative and creative, based on increasing self-efficacy and resilience, it has the power to serve as a protective shield for all students. It can become a beacon of light for impoverished communities.

I believe that all children are entitled to success in learning and life, regardless of their gender, race, or socioeconomic status.


Mr. President, it's your move.


Salome Thomas-EL is the principal of the Thomas Edison Charter School in Wilmington, Del., and the author of The Immortality of Influence: We Can Build the Best Minds of the Next Generation (Kensington Publishing, 2010). Widely known as Principal EL, he is a national board member of America’s Foundation for Chess, which is based in Bellevue, Wash.

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Branding Social Change? (SSIR)

Branding Social Change? (SSIR) | United Way | Scoop.it

Can "movement marketing"—a means for companies to connect with consumers through social media—really lead to positive social change?


Reviewed By Peter Manzo | Fall 2012

Uprising: How to Build a Brand—and Change the World—by Sparking Cultural Movements

Scott Goodson

256 pages, McGraw-Hill, 2012

Buy the book »


Scott Goodson is a co-founder of the global marketing firm StrawberryFrog, and he has worked with leading worldwide brands, including Ikea, Pfizer, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Mitsubishi, Smart, and Microsoft. In Uprising, he argues that“movement marketing” is the best—and perhaps only—way for companies to connect with consumers in the age of social media, and when done effectively the interaction between companies and consumers can lead to positive social change.


Goodson has written two books: one on how marketers can engage groups with shared passions, beliefs, and ideas to sell products and develop brands; and one on how marketers can help foster cultural and social movements “to build a better, fairer, more sustainable, and more interesting world.” Goodson avoids the contradictions inherent in this argument—i.e., can corporate branding and consumption really lead to sustainability?—but he does provide strong, practical tips for how corporate and nonprofit brands can connect with people in an increasingly global, technologically connected age.


Goodson cites Clay Shirky, Seth Godin, and other marketing and communications experts in declaring that the old way of  marketing—pitching a product to the largest possible audience through mass media—is dying. He argues that the best way to reach people is to look for topics and causes around which they are already gathering and align one’s brand with those topics or causes. This inverts the old marketing process; companies need to start with what is going on in the culture, rather than focus on their product or service. Goodson lays out his thesis in the first and last chapters of the book and provides a persuasive and entertaining history of the shift from the old marketing model to the new one in Chapter 2. In Chapters 3 to 7 he details the changes driving this new model and how to put it into practice. Throughout, Goodson provides dozens of short case studies about for-profit and nonprofit campaigns he offers as examples of movement marketing.


Goodson distinguishes the new movement marketing model from the old model:“Instead of marketing and advertising being focused on the individual, marketers must learn to understand and relate to people in interconnected groups; instead of convincing people to believe an ad message, marketers must try to tap into what it is that people already believe and care about; instead of being focused on selling, the way to connect with movements is to be dedicated to sharing; instead of controlling the message, marketers must learn to relinquish control and let the movement do what it will with that message; perhaps most radical of all, companies and brands must learn to stop talking about themselves and to join in a conversation that is about anything and everythingbut their product.”


Goodson’s concept of “movement”could be tighter. He anchors his definition in people gathering around what Shirky calls “shared endeavors.” Goodson notes that not all movements are culturally or politically momentous, like the civil rights, women’s, and environmental movements, but he often discusses cultural movements, social movements, and “purposeful” movements without clearly distinguishing among them.


Though Goodson’s aim seems primarily to revolutionize corporate marketing, social sector enterprises may benefit the most from Uprising. Ironically, the most compelling examples of movement marketing Goodson offers are nonprofits and social enterprises, for which the cause, the movement itself, is the brand—for example, Charity: Water, Aging in Place, and DIY.


When Goodson turns to corporate marketing, he is not as persuasive that branding campaigns add up to movements. Pepsi’s Refresh campaign, one of Goodson’s most cited cases, attracted more than 76 million votes for community improvement ideas submitted by consumers, but the campaign seems more cause marketingand prize philanthropy than a movement. Jim Beam’s Bold Choice campaign and Microsoft’s IdeaWins campaign appeal to individual dreams of growing a small business or finding fulfillment in an encore career, but likewise lack a movement’s shared endeavor. Toms Shoes is a more complicated case. The company’s marketing strategy for selling its product is to tap people’s interests in being, or feeling, philanthropic. (Every pair of shoes sold leads to a pair donated.) Toms’ distribution of shoes and eyeglasses to people in need is a great contribution—but again, is it a movement?


Corporate engagement marketing of the kind shown in most of Goodson’s examples is certainly an improvement over the old marketing model, and it may be valuable in itself. But I could not escape the feeling that for something to be more than niche marketing, there must be an appeal to some shared goal as well as to social change.


Still, Goodson is undeniably right in observing the rise in the number of people seeking connection to shared passions through, and perhaps because of, technology.Uprising will help both corporate and social sector leaders seeking to connect their brand or cause to people who share a mutual passion, and we all will benefit if Goodson succeeds in persuading more companies to support movements for good.

Peter Manzo is president and CEO of United Ways of California, which advocates policy change and community impact to improve health, education, and financial stability for low-income families; he contributes to the SSIR blog.
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In-School Success from Out-Of-School Activity | United Way

In-School Success from Out-Of-School Activity | United Way | United Way | Scoop.it

By Ayeola Fortune, Education Team, United Way Worldwide


For most students, school has come back with a vengeance for about a month now and for many of them and their parents, it feels like summer never happened, or has receded into the far away past.  But let’s not kid ourselves; the lasting consequences of summer are with us.


For youth who attended high-quality, enriching summer camps, or took a course at a nearby college, or traveled to far flung places with family – it was a summer with lasting memories that supported their overall development.


For youth who did not have informal or formal opportunities for enrichment – it was a summer that likely widened the achievement gap between them and their peers, a gap that will persist throughout the current school year and widen next summer when the cycle repeats itself. Their teachers know it - as pre-tests administered in the fall show who has made gains, stayed the same, or fallen behind in math and reading.  Their parents know it – as they will also struggle during the school year to find affordable, convenient, and meaningful programs to enroll their students in after school.  And the young people themselves know it – as they see themselves make progress or fall behind and fail to catch up with peers in school.


These persistent gaps in opportunities for enrichment and development outside of the regular school day and year have lasting consequences.  Students only spend 20 percent of their time in school – so a significant part of the achievement and opportunity gaps can be explained by what happens (and does not happen) outside of the classroom.  (See The Learning Season) 


And yet leaders at every level – national, state, and local - can make a positive difference in the lives of youth.  Leaders can help enact policy, align and coordinate efforts, mobilize and engage communities, raise awareness, and lend their voices to better ensure that youth have access to high-quality out-of-school time opportunities that offer them:


- Relevant experiences to cultivate potential career interests and job ready skills.

- Connection with caring adults.

- Opportunities to serve others.

- The extra help they might need to stay on track to graduation.


That’s why United Way Worldwide is convening a National Thought Leaders Summit on Out-of-School Time on Thursday, October 18th.  United Way has set a national goal of increasing the graduation rate by 50 percent by 2018 – accomplishing this will require the use of proven strategies to support struggling, at-risk students and this includes high-quality out-of-school time programs.  The Summit will bring together youth, education leaders, practitioners, United Ways, nonprofits, and corporate and philanthropic supporters to reflect on the progress in out-of-school time to date and consider what more we can do collectively to ensure that every young person that needs them has access to high-quality out-of-school time opportunities that help them graduate high school on time - prepared for college, work, and life.


In addition to keynote speakers Salome Thomas-EL and Dominique Dawes, panelists include Jim Shelton, U.S. Department of Education; Brenda Girton-Mitchell, U.S. Department of Education; Lidia Soto-Harmon, Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital; Bob Seidel, National Summer Learning Association; Ken Smith, Jobs for Americas Graduates; and others, who will collectively help us think about:


- The importance of connecting out-of-school time opportunities for older youth to future employment, cultivating job ready skills and preparing the workforce for tomorrow.

- The critical need to effectively engage middle and high school youth, since they can “vote with their feet” and opt out of programming that does not connect with their passions, sustain their interests, or meet their needs.

- The importance of being future oriented in this work – including re-envisioning learning altogether, so that students experience a more seamless day; integrating STEM into out-of-school time activities; and giving high school students the opportunity to earn course credit for participation in high-quality out-of-school time experiences.


How you can get involved:


Join us online October 18, 2012:   http://www.unitedway.org/pages/out-of-school-time.


Tweet or blog about the event - use the hashtags: #KidsWin and #LIVEUNITED.  Tweet:  I #Support Out-Of-School Time! Help @UnitedWay Improve #Education & Increase HS Graduation Rates! #KidsWin http://ow.ly/enly7.  


Post your thoughts, reactions, quotes, photos, etc., on Facebook.


Use our online Out-of-School Time Toolkit to get tools, tips and resources to support your community efforts; including the just-published Out-of-School Time Issue Brief.

- Toolkit:   http://outofschooltime.unitedway.org/

- Issue Brief:  http://www.unitedway.org/page/-/OST/Out-of-School%20Time%20Issue%20Brief%202012.pdf


Read this article by the Alliance for Excellent Education that links the importance of out-of-school time to preparing high school students for college and career:   http://www.unitedway.org/page/-/OST/Out-of-School%20Time%20Issue%20Brief%202012.pdf


Volunteer as a reader, tutor, or mentor to a young person in your community:  http://www.unitedway.org/take-action/volunteer



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Baltimore, MD., – September 25, 2012 – Today the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, honored the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS) with a prestigious Bright Idea award for developing  an innovative government initiative.


BCDSS was one of 111 honorees in this cycle.  Since Bright Idea’s 2010 inception, 500 awards have been presented from a pool of 27,000 applications. Recipients from all levels of government—including school districts, county, city, state, and federal agencies as well as public-private partnerships— have demonstrated a creative range of solutions to issues. Examples include urban and rural degradation, environmental problems, and the academic achievement of students. Programs were evaluated and selected by a team of policy experts from academic and public sectors.


The Baltimore City DSS was recognized for its innovative partnership with the Baltimore City School system in implementing the highly successful Place Matters initiative that strives to place foster children within a sphere of safety and community when they are removed from their homes. A concerted effort is made to place children with someone they know to reduce the trauma of abuse, neglect and family separation.


When a school-age child enters BCDSS’ care, the school system is notified. Within hours, school administrators share the child’s emergency contact information with BCDSS. Social work staff use the information to locate a family member or trusted friend to consider as a placement option. In addition, BCDSS social work staff are housed within various schools throughout Baltimore City to assist with on-site issues that may arise in the school setting, work with the administration to resolve issues and serve as a resource for staff.


“Historically the role of social service providers has been to serve and protect needy and vulnerable children, families and adults in ways that encouraged personal responsibility,” said Molly McGrath Tierney, director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. “However, too frequently, social service workers have had to focus on fulfilling intake and eligibility program requirements rather than on affecting real change in their clients’ lives. Baltimore City DSS is developing creative programs and service delivery methods that yield measurable results, enable workers to be more effective and make a greater impact on the people they serve.”


The  selection criteria used to identify the 111 innovative government programs included: novelty, the degree to which the program demonstrates a leap in creativity; effectiveness, the degree to which the program has achieved tangible results; significance, the degree to which the program successfully addresses an important problem of public concern; and  transferability, the degree to which the program, or aspects of it, shows promise of inspiring successful replication by other governmental entities.


“Government innovation does not require endless resources and generous budgets,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center. “As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, some of our country’s smartest innovations can in fact reduce government’s size while serving our citizens more efficiently and effectively.”


The Ash Center advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens.


Baltimore City Department of Social Services is a field office of the Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) the state’s primary social service provider serving over one million people annually. BCDSS provides services to over 50 percent of the state’s child welfare cases.   DHR, through its 24 local departments of social services, aggressively pursues opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide preventive services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 24 counties.

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Campaign promotes healthy eating, physical activity and healthy families

Campaign promotes healthy eating, physical activity and healthy families | United Way | Scoop.it

BURLINGTON, Ky. -- Eating healthy and being physically active can be a challenge in today's busy world. The 5-2-1-0 campaign offers help to parents and caregivers in promoting healthy behaviors.



Photographer: Getty Images Copyright Getty Images


Posted: 09/27/2012


BURLINGTON, Ky. - Eating healthy and being physically active can be a challenge in today’s busy world. The 5-2-1-0 campaign is here to help.


5-2-1-0 is a simple, consistent message that promotes four healthy behaviors:


5: Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day

2: Limit two or less hours of daily TV or computer use

1: Get one hour or more of physical activity

0: Drink zero high-sugar drinks


Throughout the month of September, many partners have joined the community campaign to share healthy messages with families in Boone County.


Here are some tips to help you and your family to get started:


Wash and chop fruits and veggies so they are ready to grab and eat.Add veggies (fresh, frozen, canned or dried) to food you already make, like pasta, casseroles, pizza, rice, etc.

Set basic rules like no TV or computer before homework or chores are done.

Make a list of fun activities to do instead of being in front of a screen.

Make gradual changes to increase your family’s level of physical activity, such as taking a short walk after dinner.

Choose toys and games that promote physical activity, such as playing tag or throwing a Frisbee.

Suggest a glass of water or low-fat milk instead of juice.

Keep a water bottle on hand. Add fresh lemon to water for some natural flavor.


The strength of the community campaign rests in various trusted community partners sharing a common message. Individuals are more apt to adopt these healthy behaviors when hearing a consistent message from trusted sources such as teachers, doctors, child-care providers and other community organizations. The 5210 campaign engages these trusted community partners in sharing the message.

Take a look at this YouTube announcement featuring Northern Kentucky children.


You can also see the 5210 Public Service Announcement featuring Northern Kentucky children by visiting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv5PX-Hi3Jo.


For more information and resources on the 5-2-1-0 campaign, please visit www.readysetsuccess.org .


Rebekah Duchette is the Executive Director of United Way's Boone County Success By 6®.




Read more: http://www.kypost.com/dpp/lifestyle/family/campaign-promotes-healthy-eating-physical-activity-and-healthy-families#ixzz28io35JnD

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Scaling Up Nutrition - Results, Results, Results | USAID Impact

Scaling Up Nutrition - Results, Results, Results | USAID Impact | United Way | Scoop.it

While progress at country-level to scale up nutrition has indeed accelerated since the SUN movement was born in 2010, the focus is now on results, results, results.  From now until 2015—the next critical benchmark for the SUN movement and the year the world takes stock of its progress against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—success will depend on the ability to translate political will into tangible and lasting improvements in rates of malnutrition.  The road ahead will likely be a challenging one as global economic problems persist, and food price crises and climactic shocks continue to threaten progress toward curbing chronic malnutrition.  This is precisely why now, more than ever, the global community must rally to mobilize unprecedented resources behind ending the “hidden disgrace” of chronic malnutrition.

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Where learning is a pleasure

Where learning is a pleasure | United Way | Scoop.it

According to Rachel Perry, Director of Strategic Impact Communications for United Way Worldwide, "Publix created these with United Way a few years ago, as a way to help parents in their stores use 'everyday experiences' in the aisles to help young kids (under 5) learn."


To which I say, "Bravo!" And thank you!


The Born Learning site has all kinds of resources to help parents turn everyday experiences in to teachable moments. Be sure to check them out!



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United Way of Northern New Jersey Pantry Partners Super Sizes Food Day - October 24, 2012

United Way of Northern New Jersey Pantry Partners Super Sizes Food Day - October 24, 2012 | United Way | Scoop.it

United Way Pantry Partners Super Sizes Food Day


United Way and community partners expand Food Day celebration in Montclair, Livingston, and Glen Ridge


It’s a choice Olivia Maxwell confronts each week – where can she cut corners in order to pay her household bills and fill up her gas tank to get to work.

The first place she cuts is food. Many nights she and her 12-year-old son are faced by the same limited options for dinner – eggs, ramen noodles or cereal. Rarely do they have a balanced meal with fresh vegetables.

“We have skinny weeks,” Maxwell said. “I’m compelled to pay bills before I put food on the table.”
Maxwell, who earns $35,000 annually working in the financial aid office at an area community college, is ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Despite working hard, she’s not earning enough to pay her bills and put healthy food on their table.  


That’s why on October 24, United Way of Northern New Jersey will join thousands across the country for the 2nd annual Food Day celebration, a movement for healthy, affordable, sustainable food. United Way has been one of the leaders of Food Day in New Jersey, raising awareness and bringing together community partners to think about ways to increase access to healthy foods.
With lifestyle diseases resulting in the deaths of more Americans than communicable diseases, United Way seeks to help individuals and families access a healthy diet.

Last year, United Way Pantry Partners mobilized some 25 health-conscious Montclair-based organizations to join the nationwide movement. Building on the success of its first year, United Way has helped to expand the movement to Glen Ridge and Livingston this year. United Way Local Operating Board member Stacey Rubinstein reached out to key community leaders in her hometown of Livingston, welcoming them to join in the planning for Food Day.

As a result, the list of Food Day partners has grown to include the likes of the West Essex YMCA, Livingston Township, ShopRite, Kings, Livingston Public Schools, Livingston Public Library and C.H.O.W., to name a few.
“Access to healthy food is a challenge for some and yet a necessity for all,” Stacey said. “Too many families are forced to make sacrifices when it comes to serving healthy options, impacting their health and well-being for years to come. Through our Food Day efforts, we hope to get people thinking and talking about positive changes they can make to improve the long-term health of our communities.”

So far, between the three towns, there are more than 20 FREE events scheduled in the days leading up to and on October 24. From movie viewings to healthy lifestyle presentations, area residents can gain invaluable insights and resources as well as take part in healthy food drives for area food pantries and soup kitchens.

For example, on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., United Way and Livingston’s Senior and Adult Enrichment Program are sponsoring a free community presentation about the health and emotional benefits of family meals, called Taking Back the Family Meal with Alma Schneider. The presentation will include tips for creating, planning and executing family-friendly menus.

On Oct. 9 at noon, a registered dietician will take residents on a 45-minute tour of the Livingston ShopRite, complete with healthy food samples. Both ShopRite and Kings are also helping to lead a healthy food drive in town. And Whole Foods in Montclair is holding a healthy food drive on October 24 to benefit local emergency food pantries and soup kitchens.

“It’s exciting to see so many local businesses and organizations get involved to make Food Day a meaningful experience for our residents, said Eileen Sweeny, coordinator of United Way Pantry Partners. “Working together, we have the opportunity to strengthen and improve the health of all our residents.”   For more information about United Way Pantry Partners and Food Day, email Eileen Sweeny. See below for a listing of events scheduled to date in Livingston and Montclair. Events in Glen Ridge are still in development.


Click here for Livingston Food Day events

Click here for Montclair Food Day events

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Opportunity Nation

Opportunity Nation | United Way | Scoop.it


Your Zip Code Shouldn’t Determine Your Economic Fate

Elizabeth Clay Roy, Deputy Director, Opportunity Nation


At the core of the Opportunity Nation campaign is the idea that, in America, the circumstances of your birth, the community you grow up in, should not condemn you or any person to an inescapable economic fate.


We talk a lot about the challenges we face as a nation: the jobs crisis, persistent poverty, failing schools, and more.  And we know the potential waiting to emerge when all our friends and neighbors find work and have the skills to succeed.


But we know from our lived experience that the ladder of opportunity in some communities has stronger rungs than others – safe communities to go to school, schools that prepare you to graduate and build a career, decent wages to help you afford a home.


That is why we developed the Opportunity Index in 2011 – to assess the strength of these various rungs.  Developed in partnership with Measure of America, a project of the Social Science Research Council and with support and engagement from United Way Worldwide and our coalition, the Index measures the conditions present in different communities that constrain or expand opportunity. Unlike personal characteristics, which also have an impact on mobility, these factors are amenable to policy change and to collective efforts to bring about improvements for a community’s residents.


We use the data in sixteen indicators to derive an Opportunity Score, a comprehensive snapshot of where a community stands today and how it can improve its future.

Last week, as part of Opportunity Nation’s national Summit in Washington, DC, we released the second annual Opportunity Index, which for the first time will allow us to identify which communities are making progress in strengthening the rungs on the ladder, and which areas still need more work.

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Parent Engagement in Education: Resource Roundup | edutopia

Parent Engagement in Education: Resource Roundup | edutopia | United Way | Scoop.it
Experts agree that parent involvement in their children's education is one of the biggest predictors of student success. As a parent, where do you begin?
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