In our efforts to improve the lives of children and youth in our community, we have built and tested a continuum of solutions grounded in sound evidence and built upon existing community assets. Such solutions are intended to effectively realize strategies that will address the unique needs of children and families in inner city Ogden.
Community Assessment and Evaluation – OUPN has built the capacity of our local community to do education research, by supporting the development of the Community Research Extension (CRE) arm of the Center for Community Engaged Learning at Weber State University. The Community Research Extension has collected extensive data on the needs and assets of central Ogden, and students have contributed over 2500 hours of service to the project. We have also begun to provide research to community organizations to support the development of strategic planning and applications for funding. In the Summer of 2014 OUPN launched an effort to assist local non-profits with survey instrument development to track program outcomes.
Focus Groups – In 2013, OUPN conducted 14 focus groups with neighborhood residents, service providers, and community leaders – from which we gained important qualitative data. Insights included the largest areas of concern for different stakeholder populations; i.e. the largest concern among Latino parents was legal status, the largest among youth 7th -12th graders were issues of safety, and for post-secondary students what was honed in on as of vital importance was the need to feel supported, and have advising and mentoring both into and through college.
Community Survey – In the summer of 2013, we surveyed 731 families – going door to door in English and Spanish. A significant amount of useful data was collected on mobility, parent engagement, early childhood education, access to a medical home, etc. We are able to filter the data by smaller geographic areas (i.e. school feeder area) or by demographic (age, gender, race, ethnicity, income, single parent, etc.).
High Quality Preschool (Pilot) – We developed and implemented a preschool at James Madison Elementary with funding from the United Way of Northern Utah, Ogden City School District, the YMCA and Ogden City. The model we implemented (from the Granite School District) has strong research and longitudinal data to demonstrate its effectiveness. Utah State University, our independent evaluator, found 40% of participants to have a score below 70 on Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – which indicates a very strong probability of them needing SPED interventions in the absences of high quality preschool. This preschool program will be scaled up to additional schools in the Ogden United PN footprint in in the 2014/15 school year.
Outcomes Tracking – Launched Social Solutions Efforts-to-Outcomes database systems for 5 partner organizations (which we will continue to expand). Organizations use the software on a daily basis to perform client intakes, track services provided, refer clients, take case notes, and track outcomes/program effectiveness. In 2013, 632 participants were put into the software, and attendance was tracked for 15,753 activities.
Collaborated with Ogden School District on Successful Carol White Grant – Department of Education grant to support healthy eating and active lifestyles.