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Federal Urban Policy (General)

Help Harlem Children’s Zone with their Cradle to Career Research

Guest blogger, Betina Jean-Louis, Director of Evaluation at Harlem Children’s Zone, has an exciting research effort underway. She and Geoff Canada invite you to participate in their Cradle to Career Neighborhood Survey.  Read more about the Harlem Children’s Zone research effort and how you can be involved below:

We at Harlem Children’s Zone are seeking your assistance with a Cradle to Career Neighborhood Survey; the message below from Geoff Canada, the head of the agency, provides some more information about the effort.  We would appreciate two types of support: (1) taking 10-15 minutes as a practitioner who is involved in this kind of work to help us better understand your efforts for and in your communities and (2) forwarding this request for completion of the survey to practitioners in your networks far and wide.  The more we know about the work on the ground, the better we will be able to advocate for continuing support.

Please note:

  • We will NOT share community- or organization-specific data with anyone under any circumstances.
  • Survey responders will be able to indicate whether they wish to receive a copy of the forthcoming summary report.

We appreciate UNCA’s help in helping us to get this disseminated!  A message from Geoff with additional information about the survey follows.


Betina Jean-Louis, Ph.D.
Director of Evaluation
Harlem Children’s Zone


Dear Building Neighborhoods Blog ,

To get a clearer picture of what is going on in the field, the Harlem Children’s Zone is reaching out to groups like yours that are creating or have created cradle-to-career pipelines that support the education and success of poor children.  We would like you to complete a Cradle to Career Neighborhood Survey that can be found here.  Those of us who are proponents of this approach are often asked about these efforts.  We would love to be able to provide aggregate-level information such as the following:

  • The number and type of communities doing the work
  • The types of programs included
  • The scope of the efforts

We believe that the field can be better supported when stakeholders and advocates (such as the Harlem Children's Zone, the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink partner organizations, the funding community, and government agencies) are in a better position to address some very fundamental questions about your efforts.  By completing the survey, you will help us all to more accurately represent the magnitude of the work.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary and you may choose to skip any questions. All the information you provide will be confidential; your name or your organization’s name will not be included in any reports, and your responses will not be reported individually to anyone.  We simply want to understand what is happening across the country.

The survey should take 10-15 minutes to complete. We hope you will participate and help us make available the valuable information that will allow us all to know where innovative strategies are being used to improve poor children’s lives.

Ideally, this survey should be completed by the individual in your organization who knows the most about this work.  If you are not that individual, please take a moment to determine who would be the best respondent and forward this request to him or her.  The person completing the survey can follow this link.  We would appreciate completion of the survey by Friday, June 14th.

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of poor children and families.



PS- if the hyperlink above does not work, the survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CradleToCareer

USDA’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvement Projects

Rural small businesses and agricultural producers interested in implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects may apply for funding from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

This initiative aims to help our nation become more energy independent and strengthen the rural economy.  "These investments will not only help our farmers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs, but also provide a new potential revenue source and stabilize their operations' bottom lines,” said Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack .

USDA is accepting the following applications:

  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until April 30, 2013;
  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications until July 15, 2013;
  • Renewable energy system feasibility study grant applications through April 30, 2013.

More information about this opportunity and on how to apply for funding is available on the Federal Register website or view the USDA’s press release.

National Public Health Week, April 1-7, 2013

The American Public Health Association is proud to announce National Public Health Week 2013 starts April 1. You can visit nphw.org for information and resources on how to get involved with National Public Health Week initiatives. You can find research and data related to public health outcomes, read the latest public health news, and find local events in your area to celebrate National Public Health Week 2013.

National Public Health Week has daily themes, meant to draw awareness to more focused public health efforts. The themes for each day are:

  • Monday, April 1: Ensuring a Safe, Healthy Home for Your Family
  • Tuesday, April 2: Providing a Safe Environment for Children at School
  • Wednesday, April 3: Creating a Healthy Workplace
  • Thursday, April 4: Protecting You While You’re on the Move, and
  • Friday, April 5: Empowering a Healthy Community.

Visit the website to join in to local events in your community to improve public health, or review the resources to plan your own event. You can also follow National Public Health Week activity on Twitter: @NPHW and #NPHW2013.

National Public Health Week 2013 is also drawing awareness to the Return on Investment (ROI) of investing in public health. The website features a great deal of information on how a small investment in public health can create big savings for the future. Such as:

  • Every $1 spent on fluoridating water saves $40 in dental care costs.
  • Every $1 spent on childhood immunizations saves $18.40 in vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • If 10% of Americans began walking regularly, $5.6 billion in heart disease costs could be averted.

Outreach, Information, and Resources Available for USDA’s Summer Food Services Program

The USDA’s Summer Food Services Program (SFSP) is intended to continue to provide regular, quality meals throughout the summer to students who normally depend on free- and reduced-price meal programs during the school year. For many children who struggle with food security, school is the only reliable place to depend on a nutritious meal. SFSP helps fight child hunger during the summer months. In 2012, SFSP served more than 143 million meals to more than 2.3 million children.

SFSP is a federally-funded program administered by states. There are some eligibility requirements for sponsors and feeding sites, and meals must meet certain USDA nutrition standards. SFSP’s website has helpful information on managing an SFSP, becoming a sponsor, and outreach to your community.

If you are interested in learning more about SFSP in your area, or are interested in participating in the program as a sponsor, volunteer, or feeding site, visit the website for more information. You can also continue to follow the discussion on Twitter (@USDANutrition and #summermeals).

NEW Facebook page for the Alliance & UNCA Public Policy Office

The joint Public Policy Office of the United Neighborhood Centers of America and the Alliance for Children & Families has launched a new Facebook page. Like the page to receive news and updates directly from the Alliance and UNCA Public Policy Office.

We will use the Facebook page to share information about policy developments in Washington that impact nonprofit human service providers around the country. We also will share pertinent research, analyses, and advocacy opportunities with Alliance and UNCA members through the new Facebook page.

Like the Alliance and UNCA Public Policy Office to stay informed on human services policy discussions in Washington. Also, you can continue to follow us on Twitter @UnitedNeighCtrs and @AlliancePolicy.


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by Dr. Radut