Alabama Evidence2Success Effort Launches in Selma

Posted October 13, 2015
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog alabamalaunchesevidence2success 2015

The Foun­da­tion has cho­sen the state of Alaba­ma as a part­ner site for its Evidence2Success frame­work, begin­ning with the city of Sel­ma. The state joins Salt Lake Coun­ty, Utah, to make a cohort of new Evidence2Success local ini­tia­tives being launched in 2015.

Evidence2Success helps pub­lic sys­tem lead­ers and com­mu­ni­ty res­i­dents work togeth­er to gath­er data on the needs and strengths of local youth, use the data to set pri­or­i­ty areas to improve well-being for young peo­ple and shift pub­lic fund­ing to address those needs with proven programs. 

Sel­ma was select­ed because of its demon­strat­ed track record in bring­ing diverse part­ners togeth­er to improve the well-being of chil­dren and fam­i­lies. The Dal­las Coun­ty Children’s Pol­i­cy Coun­cil, an arm of the coun­ty dis­trict court, has been active in putting togeth­er inno­v­a­tive pro­grams that sup­port youth devel­op­ment. Its Com­pass Net­work has grown from an evening report­ing pro­gram for youth at risk of juve­nile deten­tion to an array of edu­ca­tion, career-readi­ness and treat­ment programs. 

State and local lead­ers have pledged sup­port in imple­ment­ing Evidence2Success. We’re very excit­ed by Selma’s poten­tial to real­ly own and shape this process, and for this effort to even­tu­al­ly bring evi­dence-based approach­es to young peo­ple through­out Alaba­ma,” said Suzanne Barnard, direc­tor of the Foundation’s Evi­dence-Based Prac­tice Group. 

The Foun­da­tion will pro­vide ini­tial fund­ing for evi­dence-based pre­ven­tion pro­grams in Sel­ma, with addi­tion­al fund­ing from the Alaba­ma Depart­ment of Youth Ser­vices. Beyond its grant dol­lars, the Foun­da­tion pro­vides access to tools and tech­ni­cal assis­tance, includ­ing hands-on coach­ing, a youth sur­vey to gath­er data on strengths and needs, pub­lic financ­ing strate­gies and the Blue­prints data­base of evi­dence-based pro­grams to help com­mu­ni­ties imple­ment Evidence2Success.

An Evidence2Success com­mu­ni­ty board in Sel­ma will first gath­er data from the Youth Expe­ri­ence Sur­vey, to be tak­en every two years by 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders to assess the strengths and needs of local young peo­ple and set pri­or­i­ties for choos­ing pro­grams. The data will be used to choose pri­or­i­ty areas for improv­ing well-being and to guide the board in select­ing evi­dence-based pro­grams that address those needs.

It takes a com­mu­ni­ty to edu­cate a child to be a well-round­ed cit­i­zen who is col­lege and career ready,” said Angela Mangum, super­in­ten­dent of Sel­ma City Schools. The Evidence2Success pro­gram will bring civic lead­ers and com­mu­ni­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tives togeth­er for this pur­pose. There is no doubt that the ben­e­fits of this pro­gram will have a last­ing pos­i­tive effect on the well-being and suc­cess of our youth and the com­mu­ni­ty as a whole.”

Evidence2Success gives the youth and the peo­ple of our com­mu­ni­ty a direct voice in the deci­sion-mak­ing process of this project to enhance the safe­ty, suc­cess and healthy devel­op­ment of our chil­dren and young peo­ple,” said Judge R.E. Arm­strong, III, chair­man of the Dal­las Coun­ty Children’s Pol­i­cy Council.

Watch a video about Evidence2Success

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