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In responce to children's "Red Flag Issues" as identified in the 2004 "Community Focus Report", The Community Foundation of the Ozarks Monday awarded a five-year, $1 million grant to the "From Red Flags to Blue Ribbons: The ECHO Project".
Mike Smith has the story:
The ECHO (Enhancing Children's Healthy Opportunities) Project is a multi-agency, collaborative response chosen by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks to positively impact the concerns identified in the Grantmakers Challenge for Children grant program. The Grantmakers Challenge for Children, a collaborative effort of private and nonprofit funding that addresses the needs identified as "red flags" in the 2004 Community Focus Report, was announced in September 2005. The five-year Challenge brings together over $6 million to benefit the children of the Springfield community.
The ECHO Project partners include: Missouri State University, Springfield Public Schools (Campbell and Robberson Elementary, where intervention activities will be directed), Community Partnership of the Ozarks and Burrell Behavioral Health.
The project hopes to address the "red flag" areas identified in the 2004 Community Focus Report and implement prevention-oriented services in two high-risk Springfield elementary schools, in hopes to quantify how the delivery of comprehensive support strategies can positively impact children experiencing economic hardship through recent change of circumstance or generational poverty .
The project's activities include:
training in the Boys and Girls Town model for staff members (teaching social and emotional skills)
providing "Parenting Wisely" curriculum to at least 32 families per target school each year
promoting student wellness by increased awareness and utilization of the Toothtruck, CARE Mobile and Jordan Valley Community Health Center,
providing pre-teacher education to Missouri State University education students
placing a behavioral intervention specialist in each school, which is not presently available through District resources
increasing the amount of time school counselors have available to work with students having difficulty.
Once implemented, the project will have a specific evaluation system, organized through MSU with the participation of the other collaborating partners, to determine the effectiveness of the project for replication in additional settings.
The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is a public foundation, and it supports asset development, community-based grant making, organizational collaboration and leadership initiatives throughout southern Missouri. CFO is comprised of 36 affiliate community foundations and over 900 charitable funds totaling approximately $99 million.
Community Foundation of the Ozarks
425 E. Trafficway
Fax (417) 864-8344