What Works Wednesdays
Since the release of Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, hundreds of readers from across the United States and other countries have written in to “Tell Us What Works” in the fight against poverty. We are encouraged by what we’ve heard from you and hope sharing these ideas sparks dialogue about what works to provide opportunity for all Americans. We hope you’ll contribute your ideas and tell us what works for your community.
Collaboration works! Partnership across sectors is absolutely key to developing strong, resilient, thriving communities. North Coast Opportunities, the Community Action Agency for Mendocino and Lake Counties in rural northern California, prioritizes partnership and collaboration in all of our work, particularly in the cultivation of a healthy local food system. Our hope is that by bringing diverse people together, we will develop sustainable, systems-wide programming that positively impacts numerous issues at once. So far, so good!
-Susan, Ukiah, CA
Through my work at Catholic Charities, I do community organizing for the Bridges to Circles initiative that has combined the research of Dr. Ruby Payne’s Bridges Out of Poverty and the National Circles Campaign. Bridges to Circles is designed to inspire, engage, equip and transform low-income people and the community by providing the training, support and networking essential to get out of poverty. This model works! Families have increased income, education, assets & savings, reduced use of public benefits and become first time homeowners. I believe we can end poverty in this country by investing in what works.
-Haley, Pensacola, FL
What works for academic achievement? Early interventions; extended school day and school year programs: addressing nutritional, medical and dental needs; working with parents both in the home and school; replicating the learning experiences enjoyed by middle class children (zoos, museums, reading materials, etc.); and providing a caring, supportive adult with whom a child can relate over a span of years. The interventions for children living in poverty need to be sustained for the same duration as the poverty conditions exist – even into college (closing the learning “gaps” as in programs such as Head Start then abandoning the child simply allows the poverty circumstances that created the gaps in the first place to recreate new gaps).
-Joseph, Cranston, RI
The Wisconsin HIV Primary Care Support Network provides intense nurse medical case management services to children, youth, and women with HIV and their families. We have a successful program surrounding perinatal HIV transition prevention. This program follows pregnant women who have HIV very closely, essentially making sure that the prospective mom does everything just right for both her baby and herself. A mother with HIV has not given birth to a baby diagnosed with HIV since 2005.
-Janice, Milwaukee, WI