New from ORE: Grantee Updates, Research Summit 2019, The Latest Webinar and more

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March 2020

CNCS Grantee Scales Up and Tests an Innovative Model to Address Generational Cycle of Poverty

From 2010 to 2016, the CNCS Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Classic grant program awarded 59 five-year grants in 19 states and the District of Columbia for a total federal investment of $382 million. SIF leveraged public-private funding and required both grantees and subgrantees to match their federal share with private financing. 

One of the SIF classic grant recipients was the organization Friends of the Children. Through their innovative program, students receive mentoring from elementary school through the end of high school (12.5 years) from a paid mentor. The organization used evaluation strategies to measure their intervention's efficacy in breaking the generational cycle of poverty.

While Friends of the Children began 25 years ago, the CNCS award supported their program's growth by funding an implementation and outcomes evaluation of the scaled model in seven locations. At a TEDTalk in September 2019, the founder and former CEO, Duncan Campbell, shared the organization's future plans to take their program to 25 new cities by 2025. They are leveraging the data, findings, and lessons learned from the CNCS/SIF work to inform their continued scaling.

Watch TEDTalk

Now Available: The Arts & Social/Civic Innovation Webinar

What is the significance of place-based art? What is the relationship between place-based art and civic engagement and social cohesion? Through its ongoing webinar series, ORE invited four researchers from the National Endowment for the Arts to share insights from their research on these questions.

On October 30, 2019, the researchers shared their findings. The focus was on research studies and measurement approaches to understanding the relationships between place-based art projects and civic engagement, social cohesion, and other community-level outcomes.

Check out the presentation materials and watch the recording on our webinars page.

Stay tuned for details about our upcoming April webinar!

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Selected Youth Leaders_YPAR Project_Raising the Next Generation of Community Leaders

Grantee Spotlight: SUNY ESF’s Raising the Next Generation of Community Leaders Project

2018 grantee SUNY College Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) partnered with Westside Peacemaking Project of the Center for Court Innovation and neighborhood youth on the project, “Raising the Next Generation of Community Leaders.” This Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project was deployed in Syracuse’s Near Westside neighborhood as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce violence and crime and uplift youth leaders, empowering them to play an active role in the research, design, and implementation of solutions. YPAR is a pedagogy that demonstrates the “conditions of injustice” are “ultimately challengeable, thus changeable” (Fine and Cammerota, 2008).

Syracuse neighborhood youth are "growing up quickly" amidst a backdrop of poverty and violence with few opportunities for sustainable futures. In the YPAR project, SUNY ESF and its partners selected a group of 10 teenagers to work together as members of a co-research team to develop a process to identify, investigate, communicate, and act on the issues that are affecting young people’s lives. The findings of the Westside Teen Research Team have informed the crime prevention strategy employed by the Peacemaking Project and its many partners. For information on their work, click the 'Grantee Profile'.

Grantee Profile

Pay-for-Success: Latest Progress on Third Sector’s Empowering Families Initiative

The CNCS Social Innovation Fund's 2016 Pay-For-Success grantee, Third Sector, is working on two-generation (2GEN) projects that improve the outcomes for both children and their families. Through their Empowering Families Initiative, they are collaborating with state and local governments to take an outcomes-oriented approach to identifying and tackling priority issues and leveraging data to evaluate impact. In January 2020, work on this grant was completed. During the course of the grant, Third Sector partnered with the six communities utilizing a variety of data and outcomes-oriented strategies to evaluate impact. Below are a few examples of impact measured:

Their stories share how government agencies in these states moved over $170M in public funds to focus on priority outcomes. Other organizations, academics, and agencies can draw insights from their work to enhance the delivery of human services in ways that foster whole-family well-being.

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Reactions from the 2019 ORE Research Summit

Last year, ORE invited grantees, researchers, thought leaders, and more to the 2019 Research Summit. The summit's theme was Bridging Divides, Building Communities, which explored how scholars, practitioners, and citizens can transcend boundaries to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement.

The 2019 Research Summit was a huge success and featured valuable insights from passionate experts. Don't just take our word for it! Here's what attendees had to say about the summit themselves:

  • I attended the research summit because I'm a grantee. We have two research grants from CNCS. And it's just a wonderful opportunity to share what we're doing and to learn what other grantees are doing and other organizations that are in the civic engagement and volunteering space, what they're doing, how they're using their research, and how they're deploying resources. It's a great opportunity to network as well. Emily Zimmerman
  • The biggest takeaway that I'm taking from the summit is just how widespread, you know, individuals care deeply about their communities, the work that they're doing, and the partnerships that we have with an agency like CNCS. So it's just such a great network of practitioners, of researchers, and of really committed individuals. Arcela Nunez-Alvarez
  • So I actually learned a lot through this conference. In each of the sessions, I found myself taking pictures of the slides and sending text messages to our president and CEO back home, just telling him, hey, check this out, look at this website, this is what I'm learning and seeing at the CNCS conference. There have been some relationships that I hope will develop and move forward. Shannah Tharp Gilliam

Stay tuned later this year to hear more from our attendees from the 2019 Research Summit on a variety of other topics!

What’s New on the Evidence Exchange            

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