Children's Bureau of Southern California
Children’s Bureau is committed to providing vulnerable children, especially in the early years, the foundation necessary to become caring and productive adults.
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2 Submitted Ideas
- LIVE ·2015 Grants Challenge
South Los Angeles Healthy Corner Store Conversion Program is a proposal to help prevent childhood obesity through an innovative approach of converting corner stores into venues that stock fresh, healthy products. In food deserts, with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables, corner stores are ubiquitous. Adding fresh, healthy food to these regularly frequented businesses can increase consumption of nutritious food and stimulate the economy by increasing the profits of local businesses.
- 2013 Grants Challenge
How do you belong? Belonging is the deepest sense of being socially connected and research shows that belonging can lead to Community Well-Being. We are sparking a community movement to belong and much more. Through the collective effort of organizations and people working together, we will change the destiny for all children, families and their neighborhoods, particularly the most vulnerable ones. We are creating a “Belong” model/framework that can be replicated by other diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles and beyond using their unique assets!
What if all of us belong and we work to create communities where we would want to belong? We want to belong to neighborhoods where kids are healthy and educationally successful. We want to belong to neighborhoods where parents can be nurturing parents and economically secure and where the institutions/organizations in a community work to nurture success and belongingness.
Could this concept of Belong become a Community Movement? Could this happen by strengthening one’s ties to their neighbors? Could we nurture this by supporting a cadre of volunteer community ambassadors? These ambassadors will be champions for belonging, champions for kids and families to succeed. Ambassadors will connect people to people, to community groups, to important information, and to critical resources. What if a community ambassador on every block eventually grew into EVERYONE on the block feeling like they belong and contributing to the health and well being of everyone who lives near them? And, what if the organizations and institutions in a community learn how to nurture this?
We are starting this movement in 500 blocks in metropolitan Los Angeles where children and parents are struggling to overcome the many challenges of isolation and generational poverty. We are engaging a diverse network of over 75 organizations of all types to create a community where people want to belong. These public and private partners have a shared vision that the 35,000 children living in the neighborhoods within a 500 block catchment area will break all records of success in their education, health, and the quality of nurturing care and economic stability they receive from their families and community. Our ultimate dream is to not only transform these 500 blocks, but to also develop a scalable and replicable framework that other communities can use to achieve a population level change.
The Belong movement has started with 25 Community Ambassadors who are volunteering their time to increase and improve social connections in their neighborhoods. We are training the ambassadors, and our organizational partners, to incorporate and promote the protective factors in their efforts. Protective Factors such as social connections, concrete support in times of need, and personal resilience have been shown to lead to stronger families and communities.
With an LA2050 grant, our Belong movement plans to recruit a Community Ambassador for every block in the catchment area. We will employ 3 Initiative Representatives and a Belong Campaign Manager to increase social connections leading to an overall improvement in community well-being. The representatives will engage community groups, recruit and support Community Ambassadors, and facilitate a series of weekly discussion sessions offered in multiple settings throughout the 500 blocks with the goal of helping residents create new social connections, increase ties to neighbors, and encourage neighbors to actively participate in community events. All Community Ambassadors will be trained so that they too can lead the series of discussions to expand our reach and impact.
We will also employ social media tools on the ground level to advance the movement. Children’s Bureau will partner with Wondros, an internationally recognized communications and social media agency, to create a 5 minute YouTube video and mobile app that will inspire the community residents, community organizations and local businesses to Belong. The mobile app will be used to help the 75 partner organizations involved in the initiative assist families, parents and adults in identifying and connecting with local community groups and with locating critical resources in the community.
The Belong movement and resulting campaign will strengthen social connections and promote civic engagement by increasing community belonging, ownership of and access to information about their community, and mobilizing neighbors to support one another.