SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Supporting every child, every step of the way – That’s the goal of the City Heights Partnership for Children, an initiative that will now be anchored by United Way of San Diego County to ensure the children of City Heights, and ultimately the San Diego region, are supported and successful from cradle to career or college.
“At the City Heights Partnership for Children, we are using ‘Collective Impact,’ a nationally proven approach for solving a range of complex social issues without spending a lot of new taxpayer money,” said Executive Director Tad Parzen. “Together as a community, we are building a new way of serving our young people, assuring they gain early and ongoing skills to become successful and productive adults. As leaders of Collective Impact in San Diego County, United Way has stepped up to coordinate and drive the effort.”
Collective Impact requires all partners to use the same research data, agree to the same benchmarks and goals – and work together to find enduring and creative solutions to chronic social problems. Unlike other joint ventures/ partnerships, Collective Impact has clearly defined components that must be met, including a centralized infrastructure with its own staff to keep the initiative on-task.
Using this approach, the Partnership brings together leaders from a variety of community and business organizations to build a coordinated and sustained effort that supports San Diego's youth and the schools they attend. The Partnership has four main goals to ensure youth are:
1. Safe, healthy and ready for kindergarten
2. Safe, healthy and achieve 3rd grade literacy proficiency
3. Safe, healthy and achieve 8th grade math and English proficiency
4. Graduate from high school with appropriate skills and experience
Initial progress includes organizing and coordinating vision screenings for every child – kindergarten through fifth grade (nearly 5,000 students) – and providing 493 pairs of glasses for those who needed them. The project required the teamwork of the Partnership, schools, health provider and parents. The Partnership also led the development of a school-based health center at Clark Middle School, serving more than 15,000 patients since opening in 2012.