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Delaware Nonprofits: Celebrating our Impact
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DANA's President & CEO, Sheila Bravo, is inviting DANA member nonprofits to share their impact stories through this blog. Please send your story to sbravo@delawarenonprofit.org, with a picture and brief paragraph on what you do and how it transforms the lives or the community. Collectively, our stories can help to inform the community on the great and impactful work nonprofits do across Delaware.

 

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Top tags: DANA  Albert Einsten Academy  Behavioral Health  Community  Delaware  Early Learning  Good to Great  Jewish Federation of Delaware  Jewish VOICE  Nonprofit  Reading Assist Institute  reading to children  Siegel JCC  Social Health  Sussec County Health Coalition  teaching  The Kutz Home  University of Delaware Hillel 

Celebrating Our Impact: Sussex County Health Coalition

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Thursday, January 26, 2017
Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2017

For 11 years, the Sussex County Health Coalition (SCHC) has engaged the entire community in a collaborative family-focused effort to improve the health outcomes in Sussex County.

SCHC, a DANA member, has over 174 partner organizations and 400+ individual members working towards advocacy, awareness, and action.  SCHC hosts multi-sector committees addressing health from different lenses. Monthly, the committees engage community partners and stakeholders to identify critical needs in the areas of early learning, clinical health, behavioral health, social health, and youth engagement.  SCHC’s coalition model for community engagement applies collective impact principals for their success.

Their collective impact work can be seen most recently in their behavioral health activities to improve access for children to treatment. Three years ago, the Behavioral Health Task Group, a sub-committee of SCHC, identified the need for increased access to counseling services, due to perceived excessive wait-times for children to receive treatment.  Reasons for this ranged from a lack of communication between the schools and the behavioral health service community, inconsistent systems within districts to identify and refer to appropriate levels of treatment, insufficient capacity to set up the systems needed to address the number of children with behavioral health needs. 

SCHS had the technical expertise to help design and set up the infrastructure to address the above challenges to wait-times. It identified a best-practice national model to replicate and support systemic change in the districts.  Through its advocacy, it sought partners to help with the transformation, which included financial funders, such as Highmark, and school districts.

The results: the Sussex County school districts who actively engaged have seen a significant increase in referrals for mental health services, a 33% reduction in treatment wait time, streamlined referral systems district wide, and greater access to high quality, accountable mental health professionals that see students on site. To date, over 1,000 children have benefitted positively from the SCHC’s school-based mental health reform.

This community-based collaborative has been viewed as a model statewide for district wide mental health reform. Sussex County Health Coalition’s had had a lasting impact on the state by bringing together stakeholders who could identify, address and solve community-based problems.

Peggy Geisler, Project Director summed up their success “we are successful when we coalesce partners to serve Sussex County more holistically and in doing so, reduce replication, and increase collaboration.”


Tags:  Behavioral Health  Community  DANA  Early Learning  Social Health  Sussec County Health Coalition 

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Celebrating our Impact: Jewish Federation of Delaware

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Tuesday, December 20, 2016

We Are Stronger Together

 

In its role as a community convener, DANA member, the Jewish Federation of Delaware’s funds and supports a community-wide network of organizations throughout Delaware and the Brandywine Valley that feed, clothe and rescue people in need, while also educating and connecting people to their Jewish identify.

 

This year their work has funded a range of community services through their five local beneficiary agencies including Albert Einstein Academy, Jewish Family Services of Delaware, Siegel Jewish Community Center, University of Delaware Hillel and the The Kutz Home.  Through the generosity of their valued donors, Federation has provided critical support including:

  • Providing over 4,800 senior meals at the Siegel JCC
  • Delivering over 4,500 PJ Library books to children throughout Delaware
  • Serving more than 3,200 clients through Jewish Family Services of Delaware
  •  Reaching over 2,300 community members monthly through the Jewish VOICE publication
  • Connecting with more than 2,000 students at University of Delaware
  •  Inspiring nearly 1,400 Annual Campaign donors and volunteers through ongoing education and engagement opportunities

Every day, Jewish Federation of Delaware makes our community and the world a better place by acting on shared values of caring and compassion (chesed), facilitating learning (Torah), repairing the world (tikkun olam) and social justice (tzedakah).

 

“We each have stories about our involvement and connection to our community. The Jewish Federation of Delaware is proud to take an active role in supporting those experiences while at the same time, support the life changing and lifesaving services for those most in need in Delaware, Israel and around the world — and we do it with dignity and compassion,” says CEO Seth J. Katzen.

 

Beyond its community focus, the Federation has focused on its principles of excellence, being recognized as a trusted and transparent organization receiving Charity Navigator’s four-star rating, GuideStar’s Platinum Level and GreatNonprofit’s Top-Rated Award.  Jewish Federation of Delaware understands that by working TOGETHER (yachad) we can accomplish so much more than any one person working alone. 

 

As a reminder, I’m inviting DANA member nonprofits to share their impact stories through my “Celebrating our Impact” blog. Please send me your story to sbravo@delawarenonprofit.org, with a picture and brief paragraph on what you do and how it transforms the lives or the community. Collectively, our stories can help to inform the community on the great and impactful work nonprofits do across Delaware.


Tags:  Albert Einsten Academy  DANA  Jewish Federation of Delaware  Jewish VOICE  Siegel JCC  The Kutz Home  University of Delaware Hillel 

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Celebrating our Impact: Helping Kids go from Zero to One Hundred in Reading

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Monday, November 28, 2016
Updated: Saturday, November 26, 2016

Learning to read by third grade is considered a critical milestone in the academic success of a student.  Some children struggle to achieve that milestone for a variety of reasons.  DANA member Reading Assist Institute (RAI) is one Delaware nonprofit organization that supports those children, in particular those who are considered Tier III – those who struggle the most, and who have already gone through unsuccessful reading interventions.  Their mission is dedicated to teaching the foundational skills of reading to children with significant academic challenges, empowering them to achieve grade-level proficiency. 

In 2015, the organization underwent strategic planning using the Jim Collin’s Good to Great framework developed by DANA.  In her article “Good>Better>Great,” Stephanie Cory, CFRE wrote about their planning work in the Fall 2016 Advancing Philanthropy publication. Coming out of that process, Reading Assist launched the RAI Reading Corps, an AmeriCorps member program that trains and coaches reading interventionists to provide one-to-one daily tutoring sessions for first, second and third graders in the phonics-based RAI reading intervention program.  At the beginning of the year, none of the first- or second-grade students in the program – and only a quarter of the third-grade students – had reached benchmarks for phonemic awareness expected at the start of first grade. By the middle of the year, every single second and third-grade student in the program had met that benchmark, and by the end of the year, all but four of the first graders had done the same.

“We have learned that one-to-one intervention truly moves the needle, and helps to close the gap between these students and their peers,” said RAI Executive Director Vickie Innes. “Now one year into the pilot and with an incredibly impressive group of new RAI Reading Corps members – and a few all-stars returning from our first year – I’m excited to see how much more progress the students can make.”

RAI recognizes the value of partnership, and as such has worked with AmeriCorps to secure qualified tutors. Their most important partnership is with the Colonial School District.  According to Superintendent Dusty Blakely, the reading achievement is impressive on its own, but he believes that the program provides the mentorship and personal attention that helps to build the young readers’ self-confidence.  You can hear from Dusty, teachers, tutors and the children themselves in this great video: One: One Reflection on RAI Reading Corps.

Governor-elect John Carney’s education policy outlined several steps to help children become college and career ready. Reading Assist Institute is an important nonprofit partner that is working tirelessly to help struggling readers succeed.

 As a reminder, I’m inviting DANA member nonprofits to share their impact stories through my “Celebrating our Impact” blog. Please send me your story to sbravo@delawarenonprofit.org, with a picture and brief paragraph on what you do and how it transforms the lives or the community. Collectively, our stories can help to inform the community on the great and impactful work nonprofits do across Delaware.

 

Tags:  Delaware  Good to Great  Nonprofit  Reading Assist Institute  reading to children  teaching 

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