Mobile, Alabama, Becomes Latest Evidence2Success Site

Posted February 18, 2016
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog newevidence2successsitemobile 2016

Mobile, Alaba­ma, will become the lat­est city to imple­ment an evi­dence-based frame­work designed by the Foun­da­tion to pro­mote healthy child devel­op­ment and aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess. Join­ing the city of Sel­ma. Mobile’s effort will focus ini­tial­ly on three neigh­bor­hoods: Maysville, the Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. cor­ri­dor and low­er Dauphin Island Parkway.

The Casey Foun­da­tion’s Evidence2Success frame­work helps pub­lic sys­tem lead­ers and com­mu­ni­ty res­i­dents work togeth­er to gath­er local data on the needs and strengths of youth. The coali­tion use the data to agree on youth well-being out­comes for improve­ment and realign pub­lic fund­ing to address those needs with proven pre­ven­tion pro­grams. All of Mobile’s sys­tems serv­ing young peo­ple and fam­i­lies — includ­ing the Mobile Coun­ty Pub­lic School Sys­tem, the Mobile Coun­ty Health Depart­ment, the Mobile Coun­ty Juve­nile Court and the Mobile Hous­ing Author­i­ty — will be key part­ners in Evidence2Success, as will res­i­dents of the com­mu­ni­ties involved.

Evidence2Success will build on Mobile’s track record in bring­ing diverse part­ners togeth­er to improve the well-being of chil­dren and fam­i­lies. The Mobile Area Edu­ca­tion Foun­da­tion (MAEF) will coor­di­nate the local effort. The Yes We Can (YWC) Coali­tion, a MAEF ini­tia­tive estab­lished in 2001 to serve as the col­lec­tive voice for edu­ca­tion­al advo­ca­cy in the city, has gen­er­at­ed con­ver­sa­tions among more than 10,000 cit­i­zens, help­ing cre­ate shared expec­ta­tions for school improve­ment. An exist­ing Edu­ca­tion Com­mis­sion will serve as the mech­a­nism for the cre­ation of the Evidence2Success com­mu­ni­ty board.

We’re very excit­ed by the col­lab­o­ra­tive spir­it and ener­gy that Mobile brings to Alabama’s efforts to strength­en the well-being of young peo­ple with evi­dence-based approach­es,” said Suzanne Barnard, direc­tor of the Foundation’s Evi­dence-Based Prac­tice Group.

I am excit­ed to have Mobile part­ner with the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion and the Alaba­ma Depart­ment of Youth Ser­vices on the Evidence2Success frame­work,” said Mobile May­or Sandy Stimp­son. Our com­mu­ni­ty must care for its most pre­cious resource, our chil­dren. We must make sure that what we do in sup­port of our youth has a track record of suc­cess. Evidence2Success will help our com­mu­ni­ty do just that.”

MAEF is com­mit­ted to improv­ing edu­ca­tion out­comes for all stu­dents in Mobile,” said MAEF CEO Car­olyn Akers. The part­ner­ship with the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion will allow us to con­tin­ue our Yes We Can work that has helped focus and unite our com­mu­ni­ty around pro­vid­ing a qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion for all kids.”

The Foun­da­tion will pro­vide ini­tial fund­ing for evi­dence-based pre­ven­tion pro­grams in Mobile, with addi­tion­al fund­ing from MAEF and 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.

The Evidence2Success com­mu­ni­ty board will begin its work by gath­er­ing data through the Youth Expe­ri­ence Sur­vey, to be admin­is­tered every two years to sixth, eighth, tenth and twelfth graders. The sur­vey will 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.

In addi­tion to choos­ing the state of Alaba­ma as an Evidence2Success part­ner, the Foun­da­tion announced Salt Lake Coun­ty, Utah, as a site last year. Efforts there are focused on Kearns Town­ship and sev­er­al adja­cent neighborhoods.

The Foun­da­tion intro­duced the Evidence2Success frame­work in two neigh­bor­hoods in Prov­i­dence, Rhode Island, start­ing in 2012. Under the lead­er­ship of the Prov­i­dence Chil­dren and Youth Cab­i­net, com­mu­ni­ty and sys­tem lead­ers in those com­mu­ni­ties used data from the Youth Expe­ri­ence Sur­vey to choose three pri­or­i­ty areas: school absen­teeism, anx­i­ety and depres­sion and delin­quen­cy. The group has cho­sen six evi­dence-based pro­grams — three of which are under­way and serv­ing about 2,000 young peo­ple. The Chil­dren and Youth Cab­i­net recent­ly received a state pub­lic health grant of up to $1 mil­lion to expand the use of those pre­ven­tion pro­grams over the next four years.

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