Federal Grant Gives Evidence2Success Efforts in Utah a Boost

Posted November 6, 2017, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

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Kearns, a com­mu­ni­ty in Salt Lake Coun­ty, Utah, is cur­rent­ly imple­ment­ing the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Evidence2Success™ frame­work, which aims to engage com­mu­ni­ties and pub­lic sys­tems in improv­ing child well-being.

This effort, spear­head­ed by the Kearns Com­mu­ni­ty Coali­tion, recent­ly received a major boost: a five-year, $625,000 grant from the Office of Nation­al Drug Con­trol to curb alco­hol and e‑cigarette use among teens.

Res­i­dents of Kearns serve on the coali­tion and work in part­ner­ship with local schools, uni­ver­si­ties, social ser­vices orga­ni­za­tions and oth­er com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions. The group iden­ti­fied sub­stance abuse as a key focus for its work with chil­dren and youth.

Healthy fam­i­lies are a cor­ner­stone to build­ing health­i­er com­mu­ni­ties, and reduc­ing teen sub­stance abuse is a big part of that,” said Salt Lake Coun­ty May­or Ben McAdams. The fund­ing will be put to good use in Kearns, where par­ents and com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers are in the driver’s seat, decid­ing how to best improve out­comes for all Kearns residents.”

Three oth­er com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try — Prov­i­dence in Rhode Island and Mobile and Sel­ma in Alaba­ma — are also Evidence2Success sites. In all four loca­tions, par­tic­i­pants are work­ing to gath­er data, iden­ti­fy pri­or­i­ty out­comes, and then select and imple­ment evi­dence-based pro­grams to achieve results.

In Utah, the Kearns Com­mu­ni­ty Coali­tion ana­lyzed data from the Stu­dent Health and Risk Pre­ven­tion sur­vey, which is a state-run assess­ment admin­is­tered at the school dis­trict lev­el every two years. This sur­vey revealed that local youth were using alco­hol and nico­tine and report­ing symp­toms of depres­sion at high­er rates than their peers across the state. In response, the group part­nered with the evi­dence-based Par­ents Empow­ered cam­paign to edu­cate Kearns youth and fam­i­lies about the dan­gers of under­age drinking.

The new five-year fed­er­al grant will help expand this cam­paign and also sup­port com­mu­ni­ty events, fur­ther data analy­sis and con­tin­ued man­age­ment of the coalition’s efforts.

This grant is a true tes­ta­ment to the strengths of the Kearns coali­tion,” says Amoret­ta Mor­ris, direc­tor of Casey’s nation­al com­mu­ni­ty change strate­gies. It’s an excel­lent exam­ple of what’s pos­si­ble when com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers and pub­lic offi­cials ral­ly togeth­er to address the issues they feel are most rel­e­vant in res­i­dents’ lives. I’m thrilled that their efforts are gain­ing momentum.”

Learn more about the Evidence2Success 2017 Com­mu­ni­ty Selec­tion Process

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