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Housing Communities e-Source

The purpose of this e-Source is to provide communities with a variety of ways to improve literacy through programs or partnerships with housing communities and properties that serve financially disadvantaged families.  The intended goal is for all children’s academic achievement to be at or greater than grade level and for all adults to be self-sustaining, productive citizens. 

 

This e-Source was developed to share success stories, suggested practices, sample programs, metrics, funding models and ideas for how to move the needle on literacy in your own community.  This e-Source is the compilation of thoughts and experience of a wide range of private and public housing community, legal, public education, adult education and literacy experts.

The suggested practices in this e-Source are intended for use by:

  • Housing authorities

  • Housing community managers/directors

  • Private developers

  • Landlords

 

The e-Source can also be leveraged in community planning by organizations such as the following:

  • Georgia Municipal Association

  • Association County Commissions of Georgia

  • Georgia Family Connection Partnership

  • Certified Literate Community Programs

  • Chambers of Commerce

  • Transformation Planning Boards

  • Economic development councils

  • Empowerment Zone Teams

Background

 

In spring 2017 Literacy For All (LFA), a donor-advised fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, engaged Deloitte to determine the impact of adult low literacy on Georgia’s workforce and economy. The Deloitte study provided some alarming facts:1 in 6 adults in Georgia has low literacy skills -- that’s 1.7m adults.

 

  1. 65% of the state’s 3rd grade students are not reading at grade level.

  2. Children whose parents have low literacy levels have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading level.

  3. Low literacy costs Georgia $1.3b annually in incarceration costs, lost revenue and social services.

  4. Literacy is a multigenerational issue.

  5. Local implementation and collaboration are keys to marked improvement.

 

Based on the Deloitte findings, LFA partnered with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education to initiate the Georgia Literacy Commission (GLC), a business-led group, and its Advisory Committee, comprised of education and literacy experts. They convened to study best practices relating to changing the trajectory of literacy in Georgia. The Commission released its first set of recommendations in November 2017, and they include initiatives that are actionable at the community level and have promise for statewide, systemic improvements.

 

To keep pace with current and future workforce needs, as a baseline, Georgia needs a literate and educated talent pool.  Possession of literacy skills is foundational to an individual’s continuing education, workforce training, and self-sustainment.  The Georgia Literacy Commission’s recommendations include initiatives that are targeted and focused on improving literacy from birth through adult years.  This Adult Education e-Source focuses on increasing awareness and engagement to improve literacy in the adult years. The ultimate goal of this e-Source is to prepare adults to be self-sustaining citizens.

The Role of Affordable Housing

 

Stable housing is a foundational and stabilizing component of a healthy community.  Basic literacy skills are the foundation for educational development. “Literacy” is defined as “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, and compute using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts in order to participate in society, achieve one’s goals and develop one’s knowledge and potential.” (UNESCO, 2004 p.13)

There are many interdependent components of a healthy community. For families living at or below poverty level, affordable housing is a serious ongoing concern.  Thus, housing is one critical component.  It is important to note that there are many entities that must work together to achieve individuals’ and families’ progressive growth. Within housing communities there is the opportunity to provide afterschool, youth development and other academic and literacy support services. These services not only support children’s academic development, but also provide affordable outside-of-school-hours care that allows parents to work or attend classes for an improved quality of life.  In addition to children’s literacy programs, adult literacy can be addressed as well, and when the two are combined into one multigenerational approach, we see the greatest success.

 

Literacy improvements depend on the communities’ efforts and focus across the entire lifecycle – from birth through adult years.  Varying types of organizations, public, private, civic and faith-based, can significantly contribute to literacy improvements in the community.

The role of affordable housing in the community

In Georgia, 23% of children under 18 are living in poverty. This level of poverty leads to unstable housing, transiency and homelessness, all of which inhibit a child’s ability to focus in, or even attend, school.  Just as this is disruptive to a child’s education it also impacts adult learners who are trying to improve their own literacy skills.

Affordable housing is one way to combat transience which is detrimental to students’ ability to progress in school and achieve academic success. 

Transiency negatively impacts families and communities in many ways:

  • Regular school attendance is an essential element in continuous and consistent learning and academic success. Chronically absent students and students that are frequently changing schools miss instructional time, are often not present when learning support and reinforcement are taking place and do not receive the benefit of interim and summative assessments that mark progress and point to improvement needs.

  • Transiency reduces the ability to provide consistent, effective services (e.g., special needs students, adult services such as job assistance, etc.).

  • Work attendance and thus job stability are compromised.

  • Economic strength is threatened.   Economic instability deters essential community businesses such as banks and grocery stores.

  • Effective and continuous school staffing is a challenge in low income areas. Schools serving low-income students are typically harder to staff.  Teacher supply, demand and staffing data in Georgia and across all states show that while many highly competent and dedicated teachers and leaders are found in high poverty schools, these schools are more frequently staffed by less experienced and/or lower performing educators.  These educators turn over at higher rates than in more affluent schools with higher performing educators and typically, less diversity, lower transience rates and fewer students that are immigrant or limited English speaking.

  • Behavioral issues such as crime rates and in-school behavior have a documented link to poverty, housing instability and inconsistency. Children in chronic poverty may experience more disruptive life-factors which often limit school success.

  • Reporting integrity is impacted for students who move frequently among schools or miss school altogether. Students may or may not be present for required assessments and may or may not have been present for the instruction and academic support/reinforcement to perform well on assessments. It becomes difficult to determine the extent to which school outcome reporting is impacted by transiency.

  • Family and community stability is generally challenged.

 

Reducing transiency has proven to improve school performance.

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Why should housing communities offer literacy programs?

There is a high correlation between poverty and literacy.  The general goal of subsidized housing is to foster progressive growth opportunities for residents. Family literacy can be foundational to the ability to achieve that goal, as higher literacy rates can enable families to gain better quality and higher paying employment which paves the path to “graduate from the voucher.” 

The suggested practices and programs listed in this e-Source have proven to produce the following benefits for property owners:

  • Reduce housing turnover

  • Reduce school transiency

  • Promote occupancy

  • Improve neighborhood schools

  • Increase demand for neighborhood units

  • Reduce maintenance costs (as residents feel more vested)

  • Increase security and lower crime

  • In the long term, increase property values

 

  https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED574448.pdf

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Success Stories

 

The following programs of varying types (e.g., rural, urban, small, large, well-funded, not funded) have all shown remarkable success.  They are all stories of providing hope and support to families and seeing the direct impact on their community, housing stability and literacy and educational outcomes. 

It is our hope that these stories provide inspiration for what can be done, ideas or program components which might be replicated, resources who can be contacted for more information or websites with additional information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wimberly’s Roots

Wimberly’s Roots is a non-profit organization with the mission to address some of the fundamental challenges facing the community. Food-related resources are made available to neighborhood residents and those involved with various groups located at the Wimberly Center, including the Winder Housing Authority (WHA) and Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, people are trained on the skills needed to grow their own gardens and supplement their diets with food they grow. Wimberly’s Roots, is financially supported by WHA and a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

 

Wimberly’s Roots or Winder Housing Authority offer the following programs:

  • Boys and Girls Club teaching garden and nutrition classes

  • Community garden and nutrition classes

  • Seed Sharing Library

  • Private cooking classes

  • On site and off-site catering is provided to Chamber, Rotary, Library system, and many other local businesses. This catering is taking off, so this will create new jobs.

 

Family Self-Sufficiency 

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a program established to promote economic self-sufficiency among Winder Housing Authority families.  The Head of Household who volunteers to participate is orientated, evaluated and is offered a Contract of Participation with the Winder Housing Authority.  This contract is designed to meet the family’s needs for services.  It also specifies the goals and objectives which the family must fulfill during the contract term.  The goals and objectives are based on mutual agreement.  Certain goals are mandatory.  The FSS program offers a financial incentive to families through the establishment of an escrow account which becomes available to the family upon successful completion of the Contract of Participation.

Workforce Wednesday

Held every third Wednesday from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm at the Wimberly Center.  The mobile career resource unit is a 13 station state of the art fully accessible computer lab. The unit provides assistance with job readiness and job search activities, as well as provides information on Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded training opportunities.  Northeast Georgia Regional Commission (NEGRC)  funds this resource which also serves the Barrow Senior Center and local job fairs. For questions or to register to visit the unit, please call 770-867-7495. 

GED Classes 

GED, ESL and Citizenship classes are offered thru Lanier Technical College all week. GED is on T, TH, and the house is typically packed. Classes consist of individualized test preparation on the five main topic areas:
1.  Math
2.  Reading
3.  Writing
4.  Social Studies
5.  Science

Internships

WHA offers internships that assist community members in gaining work experience in an actual office and learning environments. It allows participants to learn basic office, communication and computer skills in order to obtain and maintain employment in an office environment.

Community Garden

A Community Garden located at two locations that produces vine ripened tomatoes, garden sweet corn, tender collard greens, and much, much more.

Vocational Rehabilitation 

This program was designed to seek and restore disabled individuals to their optimal physical, mental, social, vocational and economic ability.  Some of the services include, job preparation, resume development, individual counseling, medical management, transportation and other readiness assistance. This program is provided by the Georgia Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation and meets at the Winder Library.

Community Library 

Yes, WHA has its very own community library.  Whether you like reading fiction or non-fiction, horror or romance, you’re sure to find something that sparks your interest here at the WHA Community Library located at the Ft. Yargo Complex and funded by Piedmont Library System and the Winder Barrow High School. Barrow County also has an amazing program called the Barrow Book Partnership that provides books to WIC recipients each month. WHA also has groups that read to the children at the health department while their parents are in for their WIC appointment. This program is funded by local donors and grants.

Onsite Boys & Girls Club

The Boys and Girls Club of Winder-Barrow has several programs that strive to help youth with academic success, healthy lifestyles and character and leadership development.  There are currently sixty-two (62) WHA students enrolled in the program. 

Section 3

What is Section 3?

It is a means by which HUD fosters local economic development, neighborhood economic improvement, and individual self-sufficiency. Section 3 is the legal basis for providing jobs for residents and awarding contracts to businesses in areas receiving certain types of HUD financial assistance.

Under Section 3 of the HUD Act of 1968, wherever HUD financial assistance is expended for housing or community development, to the greatest extent feasible, economic opportunities will be given to Section 3 residents and businesses in that area.  For more information click here.

Gainesville Housing Authority – an example of great partnerships

The Gainesville Housing Authority has many efforts underway to improve literacy and educational outcome for their residents:

  • which includes lunch and Friday field trips.  This program is made possible by a partnership with Gainesville City Schools who provides facilities and transportation, the local food bank who provide lunches and the Brenau school of education to provide education students as teachers.

  • Partnered with Gainesville City Schools to provide statistical data on youth participating in GHA programs. Gainesville Housing Authority and the school system are working together to utilize a 3rd party database that allows measurement of student progress and provide statistical data such that program directors know efficacy of programming.  Parents sign a release of information to allow access to school records.

  • College Bound program, working with high school youth living in public housing to ensure they have a post-graduation path.

  • GHA staff sit on a variety of local Boards (including the Board of Education) to improve communication, alignment of priorities and programming. 

 

For more information on the Gainesville Housing Authority programs, contact Beth Brown bbrown@gainesvillehousing.org.

 

 

Neighborhoods Focused on African American Youth, Inc.

(NFOAAY)

This case study highlights a grass roots effort in rural Georgia

and shows the success that can be achieved with strong commitment of individual outside the neighborhood,  teaming with residents/parents,  and sustained, routine supplemental, academic support from Pre-K through Middle School. 

 

NFOAYY focuses on children living within housing communities and their mission is to positively change children's lives by helping neighborhood residents to organize and establish an infrastructure providing long-term, accessible, academic support for the youth of its neighborhood through a robust, academically-focused, afterschool program, called Community Study Hall (CSH).  When students engage in supplemental academic activities beyond the regular school day, they develop discipline, proper prioritizing or work and play, a greater motivation to achieve in school, and improved academic competencies. When fully implemented, Community Study Hall assists in the development of youths' skills, abilities, health, and overall character, through developing their abilities, limiting undesirable exposure, strengthening their preparedness for life, molding their character and motivating healthy behavior.

 

The components of the Community Study Hall program are as follows:

 

  • Academically Focused After School Program

    • Reading Remediation

    • Mathematics Remediation

    • Homework Assistance

    • Library Sessions,

    • Technology Instruction & Support

    • Life Skills Workshops

    • STEM Workshops

    • Character Education

    • STEM Fairs

    • Career Fairs

  • Educational Field Trips

    • College Tours

    • Science Museum

    • Robotics Workshops

  • Academic Awards Program

  • Black History Programs

  • End-Of-Semester Motivation Event

  • Summer Program

    • Reading Remediation

    • Mathematics Remediation

    • Drug Prevention

    • Emotional Skills Development

    • Robotics

    • Educational Field Trips

    • Life Skills Workshop

  • Parent Planning Meeting

    • Focuses on improving after school program operations

    • Makes decisions pertaining to educational field trips

    • Makes logistic decisions pertaining to program events, field trips, content

  • Parenting Sharing Sessions

    • Building effective parenting skills

    • Building competencies for the workforce

    • Building head-of household competencies

  • Neighborhood Resident Engagement

 

 

Fitzgerald Ben Hill – success in a small, rural Literacy Education Association (LEA)

The literacy improvement initiative in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County began with one Communities in Schools (CIS) volunteer and the America Reads initiative and grew into an effort that has leveraged various literacy programs and impacted thousands of students.

The CIS Site Coordinator recruited and trained volunteers - who donated 30-45 minutes per week.  Each volunteer was paired with a student who was teacher-referred to the program for reasons from low reading scores to building self-esteem.  At one point this program had 30 – 40 volunteers.  The program was funded by The Garden Foundation and has experienced reduced funding over the years.

The program now maintains partnership with CIS of GA, which provides case management and AmeriCorps reading tutors who provide tutoring to elementary, middle and high schools. 

Ben Hill also participated in Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) activities in which in year one, over 400 children received a free book to build their personal library.  Building personal libraries for children helps to foster their love of reading and gives parents tools to use when reading with kids at home.

The excitement shown by the children as they selected books was unbelievable! Since that first year, with the help of community sponsors, the program has grown to provide books yearly to over 1900 students, from PreK to 5th grade.  Over the past 12 years. approximately 43,000 new books have been distributed to Ben Hill County students!

 

The local housing authority serves on the board of directors for Fitzgerald-Ben Hill CIS.   The housing authority focuses on literacy support and reducing the summer slide.  They provide the staff and CIS partners with them to help provide additional books and supplies for the students.

 

For more information contact:

Becky Gay, Executive Director
Communities In Schools 
of Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County
A Nationally Accredited Affiliate of CIS National, Inc.
www.cisbenhill.org

Northwest Georgia Housing Authority – working with adults 

Northwest Georgia Housing Authority’s focus on adult education

is making a difference.  Having provided adult education

since 1992, they continue to receive grant funding through

the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) that

allows them to hire two teachers (retired teacher and

certified teacher), a van driver, and a transitional career

counselor to help with pursuing employment after

completion of GED.  Northwest Georgia Housing Authority

provides both Adult Basic Education as well as GED

courses to approximately 40 adults.  The program is

available for public housing residents and any resident

who resides in Rome, Floyd County, Georgia.

 

To motivate residents to participate in these programs, Northwest Georgia Housing Authority has developed the following incentives:

  1. Waive eight hours per month of HUD required community service for adults pursuing their GED.

  2. For residents who are pursuing a GED, their children can attend Northwest Georgia Housing Authority’s Montessori school free of charge.  Transportation is included with parents riding the bus to and from the Montessori school with their children, and this same bus then takes parents to and from the GED Program.  

  3. Residents who are unemployed and/or not attending school, able to work, must attend a “Life Skills” program aimed at helping residents work towards finding employment (policy was approved by NWGHA’s Board of Commissioners); residents who do not have a high school diploma or GED are referred to the GED Program.   

 

HUD’s Project SOAR grant allows NWGHA to encourage public housing residents, ages 15 to 20 years of age by helping the residents and their families apply for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), to assist with financial literacy and college readiness, post-secondary program applications, and post-acceptance assistance.  There are 70 residents who are eligible for Project SOAR.  The Navigator is presently working with 30 public housing residents. Residents have attended a College Fair in Atlanta, GA; the Navigator has assisted residents and their families in completing the FAFSA application; the Navigator has assisted the residents in completing scholarship applications.

 

Other programs of Northwest Georgia Housing Authority making a difference include:

  • Resident Coordinator collaborates with the Rome City Schools by scheduling quarterly meetings at each community (walking distance for the parents).  The superintendent, and principals of the elementary schools, middle school, and high school where the public housing students attend are present at these meetings.  Parents have an opportunity to ask questions; school officials have an opportunity to meet the parents of the children who attend their schools.

  • Partnership with local psychologists who provide essential counseling to troubled residents.

  • The Family Self-Sufficiency Program assists families in their efforts to become self-sufficient by offering case management and contracts of participation; an escrow account is an incentive for families in the program.

  • The ROSS grant funds make case management possible; case managers link families with GED/Adult Literacy, childcare, mental health services, physical health services, and job readiness services.

 

Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) - Affordable Housing, School and Community Partnership

Centennial Place and Centennial Academy

Centennial Place is one of Atlanta’s most prized commercial properties and a groundbreaking model for urban community development.

 

It stands on the grounds of the former Techwood Homes, the first federally funded public housing project in the United States.  Built in the 1930’s, living conditions in this low-income development deteriorated over time, resulting in a crumbling housing project in an unsafe neighborhood.

Centennial Place features more than 700 mixed-income rental units and 40 mixed-income for-sale townhomes made possible through mixed financing, the first holistic community development project in the country.

The pride of Centennial Place is its Centennial Academy School. Opened in 2014, Centennial Academy became Atlanta’s first conversion charter school, replacing Centennial Place Elementary School. Although 82 percent of the students at Centennial Academy are classified as economically disadvantaged, the school is outperforming expectations. In fact, state test scores of graduates rank near the top 20 percent of Georgia’s Career and College Ready Performance Index.

 

The school is physically connected to — and has a broad partnership with — the Arthur M. Blank YMCA (named after the co-founder of Home Depot), which supports before- and after-school programs. The school also has connections with the Georgia Aquarium, Coca-Cola and Georgia Tech, to name a few.

 

As a community school, Centennial Academy readily extends beyond its campus borders in strong partnerships with institutions of early and higher learning, industry, and social service that support a PreK to 8th grade curriculum. The school’s curriculum is centered in Project-based Inquiry Learning with a STEAM focus. Additionally, Centennial Academy strives to foster a school environment centered around Whole-Child Educational Values: Life-Long Learning, Excellence, Collaboration, Community and Integrity.

 

Integral property Management also uses a holistic and comprehensive approach to ensure long-term marketability and sustainability and to support excellent outcomes for families, especially children, with emphasis on excellence and on maintaining a high performing neighborhood school.  They support families with adequate resources to assist them and their children to achieve their life goals, focusing on self-sufficiency and educational advancement. 

 

As a Centennial Place Apartment Community (Atlanta Housing Authority Move to Work** participant) resident, there are guidelines for maintaining apartments in addition to standards regarding school enrollment and absences.

School Enrollment Requirement: Each school-age household member who is under 18 years of age and who has not completed his or her secondary education must be enrolled (on time with no unexcused absences) and attending an accredited public or private academic or technical school.

 

The City of Atlanta Public School System (Centennial Academy fits under this umbrella) has rules and regulations that state:

 

*Students are expected to be present and arrive on time to school. Students who are absent or tardy miss valuable instructional time and other important school activities and are less likely to master those skills, concepts, and principles needed for success. Students who violate the attendance policy will be disciplined. Unexcused absences and/or truancy may also lead to legal action against the student and/or parents/guardians.

 

*Students who have more than five (5) days of unexcused absences during the school year will be considered truant. The legal penalties for truancy include referral of students to Juvenile Court and referral of parents to State Court. Any Georgia resident who has control or charge of a child who is convicted of violating mandatory school attendance requirements will be subject to a fine of not less than $25.00 and not more than $100.00, imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, community service, or any combination of such penalties per absence. In addition, failure to satisfy the state’s attendance requirements can affect the opportunity for students to obtain or keep a driver’s permit/license.

**Moving to Work (MTW) is a demonstration program for public housing authorities (PHAs) that provides them the opportunity to design and test innovative, locally-designed strategies that use Federal dollars more efficiently, help residents find employment and become self-sufficient, and increase housing choices for low-income families. MTW gives PHAs exemptions from many existing public housing and voucher rules and more flexibility with how they use their Federal funds. MTW PHAs are expected to use the opportunities presented by MTW to inform HUD about ways to better address local community needs.

 

The Office of Public Housing Investments (OPHI), within the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) at HUD headquarters, oversees the MTW Demonstration Program.  The MTW Program started in 1996 with 30 PHA’s, however, MTW Agreements were not executed until 1999.  Atlanta Housing has participated in this program since 2000. Currently there are 39 participating PHA’s and in Georgia only Atlanta and Columbus are participating.

 

Melton Housing Authority (MHA) – partnerships in action

Buck Melton Community Center serves as a link between MHA residents and community organizations to ensure that residents who want to improve their quality of life are given an opportunity to succeed. Participation is voluntary. Just a few of the services offered include:

  • Head Start

  • After School/Summer Programs

  • GED/Adult Literacy Classes

  • Energy Assistance

  • Computer Usage

  • WIC

  • Neighborhood Outreach

  • Healthcare

  • Workshops, and much more

 

MHA partners with a myriad of organizations to help residents achieve their goals, including:

 

For more information: http://maconhousing.com/buckmeltoncenter.aspx

 

 

Albany Housing Authority - Multigenerational Approach and Community Partnership Example

Family Literacy Connection in Albany takes a unique multi-generational approach to literacy. Each day finds parents working toward a GED and their pre-school children in the same facility.  The family is supported with Parents as Teachers home visits, as well as, monthly parent support meetings and Parent and Child Together Activities. Community partners share their expertise in daily parenting classes focusing on topics  that will lead to family stability and self-sufficiency.  Families are connected to community resources to remove barriers that prevent program participation.

For more information contact:

Cheryl Vinson or Sandy Bamford

Family Literacy Connection. 

cherylv@familyliteracyconnection.com

sandy@familyliteracyconnection.com

229-638-2104

Willow Branch Community, Clarkston, GA (a Star C community) – A 501(c)(3) focused on reducing transience in the local school system and improving students’ academic success through a collaboration of the three important pillars of an individual’s success: affordable housing, free access to on-site afterschool programming, and affordable medical care.  Transience is student turnover due to students changing schools during the school year.  It is very disruptive to individual student’s learning and the overall classroom environment.  When families have access to safe, decent, affordable housing, they are able to remain in their communities.  The outcome is reduced transiency, which stabilizes the community and improves the performance of the local elementary school.  For the 2017 – 2018 school year, Willow Branch’s community wide GPA averaged 3.5, and their milestone pass rate was 88%.​

Willow Branch is a privately-owned community with affordable rents.  (Rents are not subsidized).  Willow Branch receives wraparound services through Star-C whose mantra is an education model with an affordable housing solution. 

 

Here’s a great quick video to show the power of a program such as Star C  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=uY68Vew0-vY

The Housing Authority of the City of Winder

This housing authority offers a wide variety of programs as described below.(This information also available for download as a Resident Services Power Point Slide or PDF File. Click desired format.)

http://winderhousing.com/client-services/ 

770-867-7495.

 

A Framework for Literacy and Learning

 

Get Georgia Reading’s Common Agenda

When reviewing these suggested practices, it is important to keep in mind the Get Georgia Reading campaign’s four research-based pillars that work together to define a platform for success.  Get Georgia Reading is a statewide campaign advocating for the conditions necessary for every child in Georgia to become a proficient reader by the end of third grade, paving the way to improved outcomes throughout school and life.  Though these pillars were developed with early learners in mind, they have been slightly adapted below to apply to literacy education for learners of all ages.

  • Language Nutrition:  All children receive abundant, language-rich adult-child interactions, which are as critical for brain development as healthy food is for physical growth.  For adults language nutrition would consist of language as part of literacy with a purpose, such as citizenship, health, financial or career, work or job related language.

  • Access: All children and their families have year-round access to, and supportive services for, healthy physical and social-emotional development and success.  Access can refer to funding, transportation and/or time availability for both children as well as adults.

  • Positive Learning Climate: All educators, families, and policymakers understand and address the impact of learning climate on social-emotional development, attendance, engagement, academic achievement, and ultimately student success, regardless of age of student.

  • Teacher Preparation and Effectiveness: All teachers of learners of any age are equipped with evidence-informed skills, knowledge, and resources that effectively meet the literacy needs of each child or adult in a developmentally appropriate manner.  

 

Suggested Practices for Literacy Programs

 

The following suggested practices have proven to either directly improve literacy or create an environment in which literacy can be improved.  Each suggested practice includes a sample program or resource so that as you find practices you can employ, there is a link to more information or a contact who can provide additional information. 

Many studies have proven that additional focused learning hours and programs are major contributors to the success of students, especially when parents are unable to provide extra support at home (often due to work commitments and/or low literacy).

Programs should plan for sustainability and consistent delivery.  This consistency provides stability for students and allows for measurement of program outcomes that can be leveraged for continuous improvement. 

Strategic/Policy
Suggested
Practices
Management
Suggested
Practices
Programs
Suggested
Practices
 

S1: Purpose Built Community Revitalization Model 

 

Description

Leverage a Purpose Built Community revitalization model that includes planning for education and literacy in the community.  Ensure a literacy advocate is a member of the planning team.

The proverb, “it takes a village” could not be more truly applied than in the environment of urban revitalization initiatives. It is a monumental endeavor to implement holistic change in disadvantaged communities, and it requires expertise from all walks of life. Purpose Built Communities has brought together some of the brightest minds to seek out meaningful change in our neighborhoods and cities.

Purpose Built Communities is an assemblage of internationally recognized leaders of business, a former Mayor of Atlanta, policy makers, philanthropists, community quarterbacks, directors of nonprofits, developers, education experts, finance and asset managers, grant writers, affordable housing directors, real estate executives, corporate officers, community planners, attorneys, consultants, and much more. This “dream team” of innovative thinkers is driven by a collective desire to transform communities, improve the lives of residents of underserved neighborhoods, end a cycle of intergenerational poverty, and set a new course for cities across the country.

 

Purpose and Mission

By partnering with a local lead organization that serves as the community quarterback, Purpose Built Communities is  able to help create vibrant new communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

By implementing its Blueprints for Community Investment, they help communities create a healthy neighborhood of choice that can break the cycle of poverty in the area. Improving educational outcomes in the neighborhood is an important component of the comprehensive transformation of the area. 

Example Programs

Purpose Built Model, Columbus Ohio

PACT is a non-profit partnership comprised of The Ohio State University, City of Columbus and Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority. PACT’s vision is to create a financially and environmentally sustainable, healthy community where residents can have access to safe and affordable housing, quality healthcare and education, and employment opportunities on the Near East Side of Columbus.

Purpose Built Communities, East Lake

The East Lake Foundation was established to revitalize the East Lake neighborhood, generate new opportunities for the families living there, and create a vibrant community where all residents thrive. Over the last two decades, the Foundation has proven that working with residents and public and private partners, while providing the right combination of comprehensive programs and services, is transformative for the community.

 

One Hall Initiative: Gainesville, GA Transformation Planning

The purpose of the One Hall initiative is to break the cycle of poverty in Hall County by seeking to understand poverty from the perspective of our most vulnerable citizens. We know this will take a long-term commitment and we must work sideby-side with local churches and public, private and non-profit sectors to tackle the root causes of poverty in a holistic and sustainable manner. We seek to create a community-level goal that is measurable and attainable. We will study existing statistics and work directly with those experiencing poverty to develop strategies that must be understood and addressed at a high level by the community-at-large.

S2: Homeless Children Voucher Program 

 

Description

Provide no wait housing vouchers for homeless families with children. 

Example Programs

Special Voucher Program for Homeless Students (pilot).  Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) created a new program in FY 2018 in support of AH’s strategic objective to further its focus on student achievement that allows AH to allocate 50 vouchers for chronically homeless students referred by Atlanta Public Schools’ counseling services. The vouchers provide stabilization of external factors that enable students the freedom to focus on academic success. (Launched February 2018 – in progress).

 

For more information contact Atlanta Housing Authority, (404) 892.4700.  

S3: Community Assessment 

 

​Description

 

Develop an assessment, administer the assessment and from the results, develop a strategy/plan to provide services most important to residents. To ensure maximum participation in assessment, consider going door to door.  Include residents in the readout of results and the process for developing a strategy/plan. Building trust and building the case for participation (motivating the community) are critical success factors.

Develop and administer a community assessment that includes multiple components:

  • Education level and needs

  • Childcare needs

  • Summer and after school needs

  • Broadband/ Internet access

  • Wellness and medical needs (evaluates insurance coverage and healthcare needs)

 

Sample Assessments

United Way One-Hall Community Assessment Sample (See Appendix D)  This is an excerpt from a larger DCA Transformation Plan.  To view the entire plan click here.  

 

Star C initial community assessment (See Appendix H)

 

Enterprise Health Action Plan Instruction and Template

 

S4: MOU for Healthcare

Description

Establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with nearby, federally qualified health clinics. Establish an MOU with the local health facilities to provide residents access to free or reduced healthcare and services.  Housing community facilitates onsite screenings, appointment setting and transportation to and from healthcare appointments.

 

Example Programs

Willow Branch MOU  (Appendix F)

 

To find the federally qualified health clinics near you, use this locator:  https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/

 

S5: Lease Clause for Education

Description

Self sufficiency begins with children attending school and being successful. This leads to highly literate self-sustaining adults.  Thus, school attendance is very important to building lifelong literacy skills.  

Keeping in mind that the goal of affordable housing is stable and safe housing, and displacement should be an absolute last resort, and being cognizant of the fact that a carrot is preferred to a stick, incorporate lease clauses that aim to improve literacy and education by encouraging school attendance and leveraging e-courses offered by the public library or other online entities.  Any such clauses should be aspirational and set a general expectation for the community.   Also keep in mind that leases should be written in a language that can be understood by residents and/or may require additional explanation.

Lease provisions that incentivize or encourage attendance and other educational performance such as the following should be considered:

  • School attendance requirement for children

  • Requirement to participate in e-courses (link e-courses to the table later in the document that shows the ecourse description) (offered by the public library) or other educational programs.  Keep in mind that if e-courses are required, broadband access and a computer should be provided in a convenient and accessible location.

 

In considering any lease provisions that address school attendance or other forms of educational performance or participation, it is important to remember that housing stability is critical to educational performance and learning. No lease provisions adopted for this purpose, therefore, should be drafted or implemented to increase displacement and housing instability. Lease provisions, for example, could be drafted so that alleged violations are considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account any necessary supports that could assist families in complying, and enforcement, if any, be progressive in nature, with warnings and opportunities to cure.

Example Programs

Centennial Place Apartment Community, Atlanta, Georgia leases include a school enrollment and attendance requirement as stated below:

 

School Enrollment Requirement: Each school-age household member who is under 18 years of age and who has not completed his or her secondary education must be enrolled (on time with no unexcused absences) and attending an accredited public or private academic or technical school.

 

The parent/guardian of all school-age children residing in the household is required to ensure their attendance at school according to local school board policies and state law and gives the Community Manager and or Community Engagement Coordinator their permission to discuss attendance and/or academic performance concerns with representatives of the schools in order to monitor attendance and academic performance and to make sure school-age children in the household are in school and actively engaged.

 

S6: Lease Clause for Work Provisions

Description & Example Program

Again, keeping in mind that the goal of affordable housing is stable and safe housing, and displacement should be an absolute last resort, and being cognizant of the fact that a carrot is preferred to a stick, incorporate lease clauses that aim to improve literacy and education.  Requiring residents to work, not only leads to self-sufficiency, but also could motivate residents to improve literacy skills in order to obtain better employment.  Any such clauses should be aspirational and set a general expectation for the community.   Also keep in mind that leases should be written in a language that can be understood by residents and/or may require additional explanation.

Consider adding lease clauses as per the following:

  • Work/Program Requirement - As a condition of receiving the housing subsidy, households must meet the Work/Program Requirement where:

  1. One non-elderly (18 to 61 years old), non-disabled, adult household member must maintain continuous full-time employment (at least 30 hours per week);and

  2. All other non-elderly, non-disabled household members must also maintain employment with a minimum of 30 hours per week or participate in a combination of school, job-training and/or part time employment for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

(This is an excerpt from AHA Housing Choice Voucher program)

Note:  It is extremely important to note that if a community sets an expectation around work requirements, they should likewise provide (or partner to provide) GED prep and/or other literacy skill building, work opportunities and/or job counseling and placement services. A few resources include:

 

In considering any lease provisions that address school attendance or other forms of educational performance or participation, it is important to remember that housing stability is critical to educational performance and learning. No lease provisions adopted for this purpose, therefore, should be drafted or implemented to increase displacement and housing instability. Lease provisions, for example, could be drafted so that alleged violations are considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account any necessary supports that could assist families in complying, and enforcement, if any, be progressive in nature, with warnings and opportunities to cure. 

 

S7: Case Management for Self-Sufficiency

Description

Stability in the home is vital for children and their social, emotional and academic development.  A case management approach that incorporates building a family success plan with families can:

  • Build relationships and trust with residents

  • Connect residents with necessary support services

  • Prevent some issues before they become larger problems.   

 

This suggested practice recommends employing a case management approach for all families beginning at the point that they receive a voucher and working with them all the way to the end goal of self-sufficiency.  In addition, consider including social worker expertise on the case management team in order to deal with problems in a manner that helps residents get services to deal with issues. As an alternative, partner with county DFCS  or hire a part-time social worker for social support services.

Example Programs

 

Atlanta Housing Authority - Human Development Services – Creating Pathways to Self Sufficiency

AHA employs an overall empowerment strategy to provide resources and training opportunities that promote self-sufficiency. The best practice is really the approach AH engages through services provided by various organizations, i.e.: The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, MLK Sr. Community Resources Collaborative, The Center for Working Families, Literacy Action, etc.

 

AH acknowledges the importance of collaboration to facilitate service delivery with stakeholders, governments, community organizations and private sector entities to leverage resources and maximize our impact.  We also recognize that in order to deliver a coordinated service approach, a defined Service Delivery Model is required to guide the collective efforts of our infrastructure and service provider network. AHA practices an outcome focused Service Delivery Model guided by the following principles: Responsive, Efficient, Impactful.

The Atlanta Housing Authority includes social worker expertise on their complaint investigation team.  This has proven effective as when there is a problem with a tenant, there are often other issues underlying the specific problem.  As complaints are investigated, the AHA team is able to identify when residents may be in need of other services and connect them with the right support.  Residents are referred to Human Development Services (HDS), a specialized team of Atlanta Housing Authority employees who are responsible for building partnerships with social service providers and connecting AHA residents to agencies that offer services that can assist them to achieve economic independence and enhanced quality of life.

 

Northwest Georgia Housing Authority leverages partnerships with counselors in their community.

ROSS-Service Coordinators

The purpose of the ROSS Service Coordinator program is to provide funding to hire and maintain Service Coordinators who will assess the needs of residents of conventional Public Housing or Indian housing and coordinate available resources in the community to meet those needs. This program works to promote the development of local strategies to coordinate the use of assistance under the Public Housing program with public and private resources, for supportive services and resident empowerment activities. These services should enable participating families to increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency, or, in the case of elderly or disabled residents, help improve living conditions and enable residents to age-in-place.

 

S8: Encourage Community Policing

Description

Encourage community policing, preferably with police living on property by providing affordable housing for police officers.  This approach helps police officers while keeping the housing community safe.

Example Programs

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) is the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation's state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources.

Community policing begins with a commitment to building trust and mutual respect between police and communities. It is critical to public safety, ensuring that all stakeholders work together to address our nation's crime challenges. When police and communities collaborate, they more effectively address underlying issues, change negative behavioral patterns, and allocate resources.

The COPS Office awards grants to hire community policing professionals, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing.

 

Public Safety/Cops on the Block/Secure Neighborhoods

The Atlanta Police Foundation (APF) is creating pathways to homeownership for officers to purchase homes in strategic neighborhoods throughout the City of Atlanta to increase police visibility and enhance engagement between the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and the citizens they serve. Secure Neighborhoods offers sworn APD police officers affordable options and incentives to purchase a home that has been renovated or built from the ground up.

Atlanta Housing Authority partnered with APF and Pulte Homes to use five lots within the Vine City neighborhood to build five single-family homes on the acquired property and sold the homes “at-cost” to Atlanta police officers as part of City’s Secure Neighborhoods initiative. APD officers’ presence increases safety within the neighborhood.  Additional public safety initiatives include video surveillance cameras and tag readers to promote the Safe Routes to School initiative. (AP Foundation plans to replicate this program to build additional houses in other Atlanta communities.)

This initiative was funded by the Atlanta Housing Authority and the Atlanta Police Foundation.

Parent Patrol

The objectives of this program are:

  • Create safe routes for children to walk/ride bikes to and from school

  • Reduce the number of altercations between students

  • Promote a time for physical activity

  • Increase social interaction and relationship building

  • Improve the community communication and partnership with families

 

The program worked with both walking and riding students, their parents, the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and the Atlanta Public schools.  The project engaged residents in community meetings, sector walk thru’s, and advisement meetings with school principals and Atlanta Police (COPS).  Some residents were hired to “work” the routes.  Adults reported misbehavior to parents for correction.  Signs were created to slow cars and indicate school zones.  A request was submitted to city transportation planning to get speed bumps installed.

 

Positive outcomes from the program include:

  • Children gained a sense of love and respect for one another.

  • Some misbehaved children showed improvement in behavior.

  • Adults learned to trust others with the care of their children

  • The partnership with APD built trust with police officers.

  • By working with apartment owners to discuss any problems, apartment owners agreed to leave gates open during school route times.

For more information on the Parent Patrol, contact Linda Adams timada01@yahoo.com

 

S9: Data Sharing with Schools

Description

Implement a data sharing agreement with the public schools to measure effectiveness of programs.  Coordinate efforts with the Georgia Department of Education to obtain institutional research exchange and use agreement from all Georgia school districts. Drill to the school level. Work with the local school system to determine specific data required to measures effectiveness of programming.

 

Example Programs

See Appendix G for FERPA release form.

See Appendix J for AHA Data Sharing Agreement.

 

S10: ROSS Grant

Description

Utilize ROSS grants to support residents’ educational efforts, funding anything education related from transportation to and from courses and the cost of childcare while students are taking courses, to funding the cost of postal program testing for residents to obtain better paying jobs.

 

The purpose of the ROSS Service Coordinator Program is to provide funding to hire and maintain Service Coordinators who will assess the needs of residents of conventional public housing or Indian housing and coordinate available resources in the community to meet those needs. This program works to promote the development of local strategies to coordinate the use of assistance under the public housing program with public and private resources, for supportive services and resident empowerment activities. These services should enable participating families to increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency, or, in the case of elderly or disabled residents, help improve living conditions and enable residents to age-in-place.

Example Programs

Gainesville Housing Authority

 

M1: Encourage School Attendance

 

Description

Working in partnership with the local schools, provide positive incentives for school attendance.

 

Example Program

Building Blocks for Success Program (Atlanta Housing Authority):

School attendance is a simple, easily understood measure of student performance. AHA's strategy for improving attendance in the selected schools is to support the engagement of students, parents, educators and community members in a campaign that offers positive rewards for attendance by providing student incentives for increasing daily and cumulative attendance rates.  AHA will work in conjunction  with  school administration to  monitor and  reward student attendance  improvements.

 

The homeroom class in each grade level, in each school with the best attendance each month receives a special incentive (e.g. an AH sponsored field trip).

Additional incentives that the Administration, PTA, and other partners can provide:

  • Recognition during morning announcements

  • Certificate/Awards at student assembly

  • Breakfast/lunch with principal, school board members, or partners

  • School supplies, i.e. pencil with logo

  • Gift certificate for local restaurants (McDonalds, Wendy's, etc.)

  • Ice cream/pizza party for class with best attendance

  • "School Money" for school store

  • Choice of donated products (movie, tickets, gift certificates)

  • Traveling trophy for grade-level homeroom with best monthly attendance

  • Attendance T-Shirts/hats/buttons

  • Age-appropriate rewards for most improved

 

For more information contact, Office of Governmental & External Affairs (404.817.7329).

M2: Leverage Parent Liaisons

 

Description

Develop close relationships with Parent Liaisons as students will often speak with school counselors about issues at home.

Invite school Parent Liaisons (often funded by Title I) into housing community office on dates when rent is due.  Liaisons can speak with residents about the importance of education for their children, make them aware of academic support services, free GED programs and other wrap-around services.

Parent liaisons serve as a link between schools and parents. Their typical responsibilities include conducting workshops, sharing news on district initiatives and developing strategies for increasing parental involvement in school activities. The liaisons work closely with schools to develop community partnerships that enhance the learning environment and ensure federal compliance with each school's parent involvement policy.

 

Example Programs

Gainesville Housing Authority

 

M3: Pursue Board Opportunities

Description

Get Public Housing Authority (PHA) staff appointed to the Boards of partner groups who can provide wrap-around services to residents.  This allows better communication and coordination between the two organizations.   so that you can help improve and tailor programs to meet the needs of your residents.

 

Likewise, it is also effective to get residents to serve on the PHA board and get involved with key partners in the community.

 

Example Programs

Gainesville Housing Authority has been successful with this approach.  Contact Beth Brown for more information bbrown@gainesvillehousing.org.

 

P1: SWON

 

Description

Standing with Our Neighbors program (SWON)  (Appendix B) – offered by Atlanta Volunteer Lawyer Foundation

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) honed in on a communities in which all kids attended the same elementary school.  They then determined the number of evictions within that particular community and focused where there are the highest evictions.  This program has experienced tremendous success.

See this news segment which featured this program and its results on CBS.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/failing-atlanta-school-cut-its-turnover-rate-in-half-with-help-from-lawyers/.

For additional information contact Michael Lucas, AVLF mlucas@avlf.org

 

P2: Employment Placement Services

Description

Provide or partner to provide job placement services to residents.

Working with workforce development boards is one way to get residents employed.

 

Example Programs

 

SNAP  E&T

SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) can help SNAP participants gain skills, training, or work experience to increase their ability to obtain regular employment that leads to economic self-sufficiency.  The SNAP Works Program is offering food stamp recipients an opportunity to participate in a study of Food Stamp Employment & Training (E&T) Programs in the following counties: Bulloch, Chatham, Cherokee, Clayton, DeKalb, Douglas, Glynn, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale.

P3: Mentors for Parents in Housing Communities

 

Description

Establish mentors for parents in housing communities

 

Example Programs

Gainesville Housing Authority partners with CenterPoint to provide “Mom Mentors.” These mentors are matched with a mom that has children approximately the same age.  They build relationships, share parenting advice, help study for the GED, network for better jobs, etc.  Mentors also get the Moms linked to programs such as “Bright Futures” and “Head Start” and explain the importance of reading to children at a young age.

 

Smart and Secure Children

This program, offered by the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Moorehouse School of Medicine, uses a unique parent leadership model, designed with and for members of disparate targeted communities, as a framework to reduce and eliminate health inequities in early childhood.

Parent mentors are trained to work with parents on effective parenting, improved mental health, improved family physical health and nutrition, childhood behavior and child development. 

 

Atlanta Cares

Atlanta Cares’ mission is to secure and transform the lives of Black children by inspiring, recruiting and mobilizing masses of caring  men and women to mentor and nourish them. Their national volunteer affiliate network connects adults to local youth-serving organizations. Their national group-mentoring programs focus on the emotional, social and academic development of children and the wellness of the adults who parent, care for and mentor them.

P4: Motivating Adults

 

Description

Motivating adults to attend adult education courses is one of the biggest challenges.  Below are some suggested practices for motivating adults to attend:

  • Market programs to adult learners as a way to help their children read.  This has proven to be much more effective than marketing the benefits to the adults themselves as many adults feel it is a luxury to spend time on their own self-enrichment and/or do not identify themselves as needing literacy help.

  • Provide incentives to participate (e.g., awards for full attendance, grocery cards or other gift cards)

  • Go door to door in public housing and other lower income communities and talk with residents about the benefits of having a GED (e.g., higher pay, better job, ability to help children with homework and most importantly a path to self-sufficiency).  Keep in mind that building trust is critical to success.

  • For adults in public housing, consider waiving the eight-hour community service requirement for residents who are attending GED courses. Make transportation a non-issue by providing transportation to and from courses, providing GED courses online (with broadband/internet access) or providing classes at housing community or places of employment.  Faith-based organizations may be willing to provide transportation. In other communities Head Start busses have been used for adult transportation once the children have been dropped off and picked up at their program.

  • Offer childcare as this is a large obstacle for many parents.

  • Provide meals for families, children and/or adults as an attractor for programs.

 

Example Programs

To motivate residents to participate in these programs, Northwest Housing Authority has developed the following incentives:

  1. Waive eight hours per month of HUD required community service for adults pursuing their GED.

  2. For residents who are pursuing a GED, their children can attend Northwest Georgia Housing Authority’s Montessori school free of charge.  Transportation is included with parents riding the bus to and from the Montessori school with their children and to and from the GED Program.  

  3. Residents who are unemployed and/or not attending school, able to work, must attend a “Life Skills” program aimed at helping residents work towards finding employment (policy was approved by NWGHA’s Board of Commissioners); residents who do not have a high school diploma or GED are referred to the GED Program.   

 

For more information, contact Northwest Housing Authority.

 

Winder Housing Authority Family Self-Sufficiency Program

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a program established to promote economic self-sufficiency among Winder Housing Authority families.  The Head of Household who volunteers to participate is orientated, evaluated and is offered a Contract of Participation with the Winder Housing Authority.  This contract is designed to meet the family’s needs for services.  It also specifies the goals and objectives which the family must fulfill during the contract term.  The goals and objectives are based on mutual agreement.  Certain goals are mandatory.  The FSS program offers a financial incentive to families through the establishment of an escrow account which becomes available to the family upon successful completion of the Contract of Participation.

USDA Food and Nutrition Service’ Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.  USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program plays a vital role in improving the quality of day care and making it more affordable for many low-income families. Each day, 3.3 million children receive nutritious meals and snacks through CACFP. The program also provides meals and snacks to 120,000 adults who receive care in nonresidential adult day care centers. CACFP reaches even further to provide meals to children residing in emergency shelters, and snacks and suppers to youths participating in eligible afterschool care programs.

 

P5: Early Learning Programs

Description

Provide or partner to provide with a local early learning center to provide childcare programs for children on site or with transportation.

Example Programs

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs are administered by the Office of Head Start, within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Head Start programs promote school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by supporting their development in a comprehensive way.  Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the local community. Many Head Start and Early Head Start programs are based in centers and schools. Other programs are located in child care centers and family child care homes.  Some programs offer home-based services that assigned dedicated staff who conduct weekly visits to children in their own home and work with the parent as the child's primary teacher. 

Head Start programs support children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, which include

  • Early learning: Children’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. Children progress in social skills and emotional well-being, along with language and literacy learning, and concept development

  • Health: Each child’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment. All children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health and mental health support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need.

  • Family well-being: Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.

 

La Escuelita – Norcross, GA

La Escuelita, a play and learn program, provides early learning and school transition activities for 3 and 4-year-old Latino children and their families in an apartment complex located in Norcross, Georgia. 

Funded by:  Initially Parent as Teachers (PAT) coordinator, United Way consultant, local early learning center partnered to submit proposal to corporate funder.  Now funded by: United Way with additional resources provided by DECAL and other community partners.

 

Sheltering Arms

Sheltering Arms provides high‐quality early education, child care and comprehensive family support services to more than 3,600 children and their families annually at 16 metropolitan Atlanta locations in Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

On average, children attending Sheltering Arms score in the 90th percentile for language and literacy, exceeding developmental milestones for kindergarten readiness.

WIC

A program that provides special checks to buy healthy foods from WIC-authorized vendors – milk, eggs, bread, cereal, juice, peanut butter, and much more (see Authorized Foods)Information about nutrition and health to help you and your family eat well and be healthy. Support and information about breastfeeding your baby. Help in finding health care and other community services.

 

P6: Summer & Afterschool Programs

The GLC Summer and afterschool complete e-Source can be accessed by clicking here

 

Description

 

Provide summer and afterschool programming to all school aged residents K-12.  Ensure programs have an intentional focus on literacy and academics.  Ensure programs follow Georgia Afterschool Youth Development Standards and apply suggested practices from the GLC Summer and afterschool e-Source (Britta please hyperlink).  Ensure programs measure and monitor academic progress.  If programs are not held on site, ensure transportation is provided to and from programs.   Consider providing breakfast, lunch and/or snacks to students, especially during summer months.

 

 

Example Program

Dalton City of Refuge sponsors a summer literacy program, “No Child Left Behind,” designed to meet needs of students in PreK-through 8th grade who are below grade level reading.  Recently, the program expanded to include Math.

 

City of Refuge works closely with Whitfield County and Dalton City Schools.  Through this relationship, City of Refuge can obtain test data, etc., on the students to determine how to address student needs.  Parents also sign a FERPA release.

 

City of Refuge staff meet with students’ parents at their homes.  They discuss the summer school program and the benefits.  This is a very important step because parents need to understand the program and support their children as the participate.  This meeting is also important in building trust between instructors and parents.  Parents are asked to sign a FERPA release so that staff can review students’ grades, test scores, and other academic matters. 

 

During the summer months, students meet te each week in a facility that Shaw Industries donated.  Students meet for approximately two hours in the afternoon.  Students’ siblings are also encouraged to attend on these days; the program provides books for them to read during this time.

 

The summer school day consists of time for recreation, snack time, a character building activity, then instruction.  A hot meal is provided for dinner.  City of Refuge provides transportation for parents so that they can join students for dinner.  This is an important part of the program; it helps to build trust among parents and helps them understand the importance of education and literacy training. 

 

Currently employed teachers and retired teachers serve as instructors.  City of Refuge also has a partnership with Dalton State College; student teachers can serve as instructors under the supervision of a certified teacher or retired teacher.  The student to teacher ratio is small – one teacher for every eight students.  The small ratio provides an environment for quicker improvements.  The instructors use Fountas and Pinnell leveled literacy intervention program to assist students (see https://www.fandpleveledbooks.com/).

 

In the upcoming year, the City of Refuge is moving into a larger facility (also donated by Shaw Industries). The goal is to expand the summer program from two days a week to four days and to provide afterschool programs for students.  Additionally, parents will be provided vocational programs while their children are in after school classes. There will also be opportunities for parents to use their skills to make money (making jewelry, etc.)  Parents who did not graduate from high school will be provided GED preparation while their children are on campus. 

 

Donors to City of Refugee’s education programs include Shaw Industries, local churches, and other local businesses.

 

Eastlake Model – extended school day

Extended school day and school year are considered key components for a successful education pipeline in the Purpose Built Schools Eastlake model.

 

Head Start

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs are administered by the Office of Head Start, within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Head Start programs promote school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by supporting their development in a comprehensive way.  Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the local community. Many Head Start and Early Head Start programs are based in centers and schools. Other programs are located in child care centers and family child care homes.  Some programs offer home-based services that assigned dedicated staff who conduct weekly visits to children in their own home and work with the parent as the child's primary teacher. 

 

WIC

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Ready4KGa – Words2Reading

Developed by educational researchers, Ready4KGA is an evidence-based text messaging program for parents of newborns, 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds provided at no cost that are customized for Georgia. Each week, you will receive fun facts and easy tips to boost your child’s learning.

Summer Transition Programs

 

A Guide for Georgia Schools on Kindergarten Transition Planning for Terrific TransitionsThe transition into Kindergarten is an important time for students. This guide provides the steps communities can take to ensure that students are prepared to enter Kindergarten.

 

School Transition is a process that prepares all partners – students, families, schools and communities - to develop knowledge, skills, and relationships that help students move from one educational setting to another.

 

Voices for Georgia’s Children infographic with stats about the importance of summer transition programs

 

DECAL Summer Transition Program

The Summer Transition Program is a six week intensive academic program with high-quality instruction and a focus on language, literacy and math. The experience is designed to reduce the achievement gap by providing additional family support and resources to targeted high needs populations.  This program is for rising kindergarteners or pre kindergarteners who meet specific criteria. 

 

Horizons

The six-week summer session is Horizons’ hallmark. Beginning the summer after Kindergarten, students join a small cohort of approximately 15 students that receives ample individual attention in a new educational environment: the resource-rich campus of an independent school, college, or university. Horizons programs blend high-quality academics – with an emphasis on literacy and STE(A)M – with arts, fitness, cultural enrichment, field trips, and confidence-building challenges. Every Horizons student also learns to swim!

 

 

For more ideas on how to improve literacy in your community or program, check out GOSA’s grantee initiatives.  These initiatives range from bookmobiles and summer programs to teacher education.  Most initiatives involve community partnerships, and the list represents most geographic regions in the state.

 

P7: Adult Education

Description

Provide access and encourage residents to participate in adult education programs. 

 

Provide access or partner to provide access to the following types of programs:

  • Health literacy

  • Financial literacy

  • Dealing with your child’s school (How to Navigate the American Public School System)

  • Citizenship and other english as a second language programs

  • Digital literacy – partner with corporations to provide digital literacy courses

  • Responsible Living courses

    • Life Choices program

    • Good Neighbor program

 

Example Programs

 

To find adult education programs, use these links:

To locate a Technical College near you click here.

https://www.nationalliteracydirectory.org/

Enter zip code and find all adult learning opportunities nearby

 

Text "MyGED" to 70700 to receive a text message requesting your zip code. When you reply with zip code, you will receive a text message with the contact information to local adult education programs and a prompt asking if you would like to call the program or have the program call you.

 

For low cost broadband/internet access click here

 

ConnectHome

Atlanta Housing was selected by HUD as one of 28 communities nationwide to promote a joint initiative between HUD and the White House called ConnectHome. This public-private collaboration narrows the divide for families with school-age children who live in HUD-assisted housing by preparing and equipping all AHA-assisted families for the technology age.

AH will continue to engage with strategic partnerships to provide:

  • Basic literacy training programs for youth, adults and seniors

  • No- and low-cost internet connectivity programs

  • Free Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) programs for school-age children

P8: Seniors

 

Atlanta Housing Authority’s Signature Senior Aging Well Programs:

 

  • Seniors Farmers Market. May is Older Americans Month and, for the tenth year, AHA will host its Annual Seniors Farmer’s Market in collaboration with healthcare providers. Each year, we look forward to celebrating AHA-assisted seniors by providing them with health and wellness tips in a fun-filled, relaxed, open-air environment where they can get healthy foods and social time with the their neighbors. Last year, approximately 400 seniors from AHA-owned senior communities participated in the farmer’s market. This was the 11th year of the Seniors Farmer’s market and the Health and Wellness fair.

 

  • Active Living Services Program. AHA provides active living services for seniors and non-senior adults with disabilities to foster participation in community services and programs. Through AHA’s partnerships with Liberty Group Senior Services and Quality Living Services (QLS), residents are able to access nutritious meals, life enrichment classes, and health education and fitness activities that promote healthy aging. The focus of the program is to enable residents to live independently in their own homes while improving their health, wellness and quality of life.

 

  • Annual Senior Health and Wellness Resource Fair. In conjunction with QLS, AHA has hosted its Annual Senior Wellness and Resource Fair for ten years. AHA is committed to helping seniors lead productive, healthier lives and we provide them with services and resources for a greater quality of life as they continue to age. This year we are expecting approximately 350 seniors for a day of health screenings, information dissemination, low-impact exercising, dancing, and a healthy cooking demonstration.

 

  • Atlanta Regional Commission. Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) collaborates with AHA to provide a mental health coach who offers mental health stabilization services to residents at our AHA owned senior communities. This program has been very successful and ARC has been able to fund the position through grants.

 

  • Literacy - Older Adults Technology Services (OATS)/Comcast - Atlanta Housing Authority has entered into a unique partnership with Comcast & OATS to provide computer training for AHA’s senior residents. In today’s fast paced, technology driven world the digital divide is an indication of a much wider problem of isolation and marginalization for our older Americans. OATS provides training geared towards seniors. Digital literacy enable seniors to develop a fundamental understanding of computers. The courses help seniors learn the essential skills for computing with confidence, becoming more productive at home communicating with their families, staying safe online, and it compliments their lifestyle. The trainer meets with the seniors on-site twice a week, 90 minutes each session for ten weeks. OATS provides a detailed course book that outlines each lesson and delivers teaching techniques designed for seniors. The training is part of Comcast’s rollout of Internet Essentials, a low-cost Internet service for seniors.

 

  • Financial Literacy Training Program - American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) - AARP and Atlanta Housing Authority are partners providing financial literacy training to our eleven AHA owned communities.  Our seniors and families are typically on fixed incomes, and need assistance to thrive for continued growth. The Financial Literacy Training consists of one ninety-minute training session. The session will include information on Monthly Budgeting, Home Ownership, Debt Elimination, Insurance, and Wills. The residents will also receive information from their Resident Service Coordinator on additional resources that help with weekly expenses, and how to plan for unexpected hardships. AARP & Atlanta Housing Authority are dedicated to providing wrap around services to all of the AHA owned communities we serve.   

 

Aging in Place – Certified Specialist Serving Atlanta at Adapted Living Spaces

Adapted Living Spaces provides remodeling professionals with the in-depth knowledge of how to make Atlanta homes easier and safer places to live for elderly residents.  Understanding and supporting the desire for persons of advanced age to remain a part of their community and surrounded by friends, their highly skilled remodelers have the expertise in aging in place design modifications that can help seniors stay in the homes they’ve cherished and out of assisted living facilities.

  • Home accessibility modifications –make homes more maneuverable for elderly persons who utilize canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. This includes installing wheelchair ramps and widening halls and doorways.

  • Kitchen modifications –lower countertops, install sliding shelves, and make other modifications that will make cooking and other kitchen activities easier.

  • Bathroom modifications –install walk-in bathtubs and walk-in showers complete with grab bars and seats, which make one of the most hazardous rooms for a person with limited mobility far safer.

 

All of these modifications are not only performed by certified aging in place specialists, but by professional remodelers with years of experience and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. 

P9: Life Choices Course

 

Description

Encourage residents to participate in programs that teach how to navigate life choices and live responsibly.

 

Example Programs

Good Neighbor Program  

The primary mission of The Good Neighbor Program (GNP) is to improve strengthen and enhance Housing Choice Participants’ ability to be better neighbors through education, self-sufficiency, and community pride. The goal is to enhance Housing Choice Participants’ knowledge of maintaining safe and peaceful communities and to understand their role as a good neighbor in the community.

 

Future Foundation Atlanta

Future Foundation Atlanta empowers youth and their families with life skills, education programs, and supportive networks to help them take the hard steps up and out of the poverty cycle.

P10: Leveraging Technology

 

Description

There are numerous online tools with proven results for increasing literacy.  Leverage these tools on site during summer or after school programs.  Since the technology tools have pre determined curriculum and monitoring of progress, less manpower and expertise is required for oversight.

Provision of either a broadband access or a connected device is required to take advantage of these tools.

The computer lab is a great gathering spot, and provision of a meal or snack is a great way to attract learners of all ages.  For how to provide meals free of charge, click here.

 

Example Programs

Star C has implemented the Study Buddy technology-based learning program at at least one of their properties in their afterschool program and seen literacy improvement in their student residents.  This program was sponsored by a private donor and has proven to be a cost effective method for literacy learning.

 

ConnectHome

Atlanta Housing was selected by HUD as one of 28 communities nationwide to promote a joint initiative between HUD and the White House called ConnectHome. This public-private collaboration narrows the d divide for families with school-age children who live in HUD-assisted housing by preparing and equipping all AHA-assisted families for the technology age.

AH will continue to engage with strategic partnerships to provide:

  • Basic d literacy training programs for youth, adults and seniors

  • No- and low-cost internet connectivity programs

  • Free Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) programs for school-age children

 

See below for a list of online tools that can be leveraged to improve literacy skills in children of all ages.

 

Technology resources are a great way to provide literacy support and have many beneifts:

  • Readily available curriculums

    • save planning time

    • can allow programs with limited staff the opportunity to provide a literacy focus with out a literacy specialist or additional resources

    • address all levels of education without having to create curriculums for every grade level

  • Self paced activities provide flexibility to work with many different types of programs

  • Teach valuable digital literacy while using the tools

  • Most tools track benchmarks and success

  • Many tools are free of charge

  • The tangible nature of these programs lends itself well to fundraising or direct asks to support the online tool

Technology Resource Examples

Training, Teacher and TA Resources

 

  • GSAN

    • GSAN offers technical assistance and coaching aligned to the Georgia Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards and training on specialty topics such as advocacy, budgeting and sustainability, event planning, and engaging communities.

  • GUIDE  Inc.

    •  GUIDE offers workshops for youth development professionals and workshops for youth. Topcis include Best Practices in Youth Dvelopment, Building Positive Relationships, and many more!

  • ASYD

    • All training is aligned to the Georgia Afterschool & Youth Development Quality Standards. Offerinings include the 3-day bi-annual Georgia ASYD Conference, 1-day Quality Standards workshops, and Quality Element specific workshops.

  • Georgia Afterschool E-Learning Institute
     

    • Online professional learning with over 36 courses made specifically for out-of-school time professionals and hundreds of other courses. Access professional development anytime, anywhere. Membership is $75 per year.

  • COX Campus – Read Right from the Start

    • Free online courses and forums focused on literacy for educators and afterschool professsionals. Online learning specifically for professionals working with children K-3rd grade will launch in 2018.

  • Bright From the Start

    • Resouce for training opportunities across the state on a variety of topics for school-age professionals.

  • AaBbCc:  Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy:  Learning and Enhancing Literacy Learning in Afterschool Programs:  A Practice Guide

  • Fountes and Pernell 

  • Designed for teachers, literacy leaders and district administrators, Fountas and Pinnell is a daily literacy retreat to reflect, recharge, research, and redefine literacy instruction.  Member based access to tools, resources, conversations, videos, tips, inspiration, transformative thinking and so much more.

  • Orton Gillingham

  • The Institute for Multi-Sensory Education’s proprietary professional development provides direct, systematic and sequential instruction that empowers educators to teach the foundation of the English language. Our revised and expanded research-based Orton-Gillingham training provides exceptional staff development. The Institute’s instructional approach is ideal for: general education, special education, reading teachers, and learning resource room specialists.  The IMSE Orton-Gillingham approach equips educators with strategies appropriate for every tier of the Response to Intervention model. Teachers, specialists, and aides can use these strategies to effectively intervene at the at-risk level and develop this population of students into successful readers, writers, and spellers. IMSE's trainings are hands-on and in-person, providing a unique, face-to-face learning experience for all participants. 

  • RESA Reading Endorsement – contact your local RESA

  • Sandra Dunigan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy

  • Department of Education Teaching and Learning Opportunities

  • L4 Summer Literacy Institutes

  • Summer Literacy Institutes for Georgia's Elementary, Middle, and High School ELA Teachers.

P11: Broadband/Internet Access

 
 

Description

Provide broadband/internet access or make residents aware of low cost options.

 

Example Programs

ConnectHome

Atlanta Housing was selected by HUD as one of 28 communities nationwide to promote a joint initiative between HUD and the White House called ConnectHome. This public-private collaboration narrows the divide for families with school-age children who live in HUD-assisted housing by preparing and equipping all AHA-assisted families for the technology age.

AH will continue to engage with strategic partnerships to provide:

  • Basic literacy training programs for youth, adults and seniors

  • No- and low-cost internet connectivity programs

  • Free Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) programs for school-age children

 

Public Library

Many public libraries offer the Ability to check out a hot spot for use anywhere; no cost.

 

Corporate access

If programs are offered at a place of business often their broadband access can be leveraged for the summer or afterschool program.

Internet Essentials Program – Comcast

Fast, affordable home Internet service. 9.95 a month plus tax *

* If your child receives free or reduced price school lunches, you may qualify.

We know that many students and their families would like to have Internet service at home so they can do homework, search jobs, communicate with others and much more. We also believe the Internet can be an important part of your child’s education.

That’s why we want to make sure you know about a new program provided by Comcast called Internet EssentialsSM.

If you have at least one child receiving free school lunches, your family may qualify for this fast, affordable home Internet service for the new school year.  Internet Essentials costs just $9.95 per month (plus tax). For participating families, there are no price increases, activation fees or equipment rental fees.

In addition, you can buy a low cost computer for just $149.99 (plus tax) and receive free Internet training — online, in print and in classroom.

If you think this might be right for your family, it’s easy to get started. Call Comcast toll free at 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376) to see if you qualify, enroll and get connected. Or for more information, you can go to InternetEssentials.com.

The Access Program from AT&T

AT&T is offering low-cost wireline home Internet service to qualifying households for $5 - $10/mo:

  • With at least one resident who participates in the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and

  • With an address in AT&T’s 21-state service area, at which we offer wireline home Internet service, and

  • Without outstanding debt for AT&T fixed Internet service within the last six months or outstanding debt incurred under this program.

  • If you are a California resident and at least one member of your household receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits you also may qualify based on the same requirements that apply to SNAP participants.

 

P12: Book Providers

Description

Partner with an organization, either the public library or a non-profit organization to provide books to residents, especially during the summer for school aged children.

 

Example Programs

Example of a public library partnership - http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20170811/partnership-promotes-early-literacy-in-public-housing-communities

 

Resources for Books 

Action Ministries

Distributes books with lunches and provide additional education activities and reading

Books for Keeps

Books for Keeps works to improve children’s reading achievement by addressing barriers related to the accessibility and appeal of reading material.  We give books to children whose reading opportunities outside of school might be otherwise limited due to geography, income or other factors.

 

Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy

Ferst Foundation addresses one of the most basic issues of childhood literacy-ensuring the availability of quality books in the home so that parents can read to their child.

 

Malcolm Mitchell Foundation

Read with Malcolm is a youth literacy initiative founded in 2015 by former University of Georgia wide-receiver and current New England Patriots wide receiver, Malcolm Mitchell.  The mission of Read with Malcolm is to transform the lives of young students through literacy. The organization’s goals are to introduce book ownership to students in households where reading is not a priority and to improve literacy in schools with below grade-level reading skills.

 

Public Libraries provide a multitude of resources from the obvious, books, to the less obvious, hotspots and afterschool programming.  Look up your local public library to see what they offer in your community.  Click here to find your local library.

 

Reading is Fundamental

Provides Book Ownership, Read for Success – an innovative reading intervention program to prevent summer slide, and Literacy Central – an online resource for teachers as well as volunteers and provides lesson plans, activities, games, videos etc.

P13: Community Garden

 

Description

Community gardens not only provide food for residents but also get residents outside their homes and onto community property which has shown to reduce crime.  Community gardens are also a tangible and productive opportunity to partner with the public school system.

Example Programs

1)  Truly Living Well Gardening 

Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture is committed to bringing good food, good health and well-being to Atlanta’s urban center.  Truly Living Well Center grows food, people, and community. Feeding people right where they live is the Truly Living Well mission. Guiding principles include emulating nature in the production of food, educating the community -- old and young -- and creating a green space where the community can gather and find harmony with the earth. The Truly Living Well education programs create a new generation of urban farm entrepreneurs who can grow food for their families and their communities.  Programs for young people and families are designed to build a healthy community for generations to come. 

2)  Willow Branch Community Garden overview and rules hyperlink these appendices to the words overview and rules.

  • See Appendix A for overview

  • See Appendix E for sample community garden rules

 

3)  Atlanta Food Bank Community Garden Program

 

P14: Housing Authority Volunteers

Description

Housing authority volunteers can be important assets to the community and can strengthen relationships with schools and service providers serving their residents.  

Example Program

AH CARES – Volunteer Program of Atlanta Housing Authority

AH CARES is an organized volunteer program that allows AH staff, family and friends to participate in AH-sponsored volunteer projects. AHA CARES projects create opportunities to network with co-workers and other community partners while making a positive impact.  AH CARES encourages career-planning/mentoring and educational enrichment using volunteers and service providers to improve student performance, PSAT, SAT and ACT testing; and exposure to career fields that will encourage students to stay-in school, consider vocational training, community or a 4-year college/university, and/or the military as career paths to address inter-generational poverty.

 

Recent & Planned AH CARES Events:

  • Dunbar Elementary Holiday Celebration

  • Atlanta Community Food Bank Hunger Walk/Run

  • Real People Read

  • Atlanta Point-In-Time Homeless Count

  • Read Across America

  • Comcast D Literacy Training

  • Kaiser Permanente 5K

  • Choice Neighborhoods Seniors’ Farmers Markets

  • APS Back to School Bash

  • Brighter Futures College & Career Fair

 

AHA supports The Atlanta Public School system through Real People Read, Cookies & Cocoa, APS Back to School Bash, and Adopting a local school for the Holiday Season. AH CARES supports Livable Buckhead through their Path 400 campaign. AH CARES volunteers lead the efforts in The Comcast D Literacy Training for AH Seniors. AH CARES is committed to serving the Metro Atlanta communities.

Recommended Partnerships

 

Throughout the state, partnerships have provided resources, volunteers, facilities and often funding.  Many successful programs have come to fruition through partnerships with no net new funding.  The RISE program, intended to combat summer slide and provide wrap-around services, offered by the Gainesville Housing Authority, is an excellent example of how much can be accomplished via partnerships. 

The following partnerships are recommended to ensure the highest level of success for literacy programs in housing communities.

Insert table

Effective and/or Creative Sources of Funding

 

Family Self-sufficiency (FSS)
Funding under this program is made only to PHAs to hire a program coordinator who links residents with training opportunities, job placement organizations, and local employers. Residents enter into a contract of participation which outlines their responsibilities towards completion of training and employment objectives over a five year period or less. The contract of participation also stipulates PHA responsibilities towards helping residents achieve their goals. For each participating family that is a recipient of welfare assistance, the PHA must establish an interim goal that the family become independent from welfare assistance and remain independent from welfare assistance at least one year prior to the expiration of the contract. During the period of participation, residents may earn an escrow credit, based on increased earned income, which they may use in a variety of ways upon successful graduation from the program.  For more information about the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, please click here.

 

About Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Grant Program
A program for public housing residents with supportive services, resident empowerment activities, and assistance in becoming economically self-sufficient.

 

About Neighborhood Networks
This program last provided grants in 2007 to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to establish, expand and/or update community technology centers. Though this grant program is no longer in existence, PHAs may use their Capital and Operating Funds to establish and maintain Neighborhood Networks computer centers. Five grants were awarded in GA in 2016.

 

Partnerships often can provide needed services without additional funding.  One example of both a great partnerships and creative way to fund a program is the W.R.O.T.E. program of Bowling Green, KY.   THE MISSION of the Housing Authority of Bowling Green’s After School Program is to provide for students in grades K-12, a positive and safe learning environment and to develop the necessary tools to increase academic performance, leadership and life-long learning.  With recent budgets cuts they were forced to close down their Learning Center.  With generous help from the local Baptist Church and approximately 50 WKU volunteer students, services for approximately 25 students continue three (3) days a week at one location. This great volunteer effort has reduced the financial burden on the HABG Learning Center budget, costing them only the salary of one staff member, utilities for the building, and the purchase of computers for academic use. Through this great partnership, academic enrichment, tutoring and after-school care continues to assist the students and their families of Bryant Way.

 

Motts Foundation

Provide funding for efforts to expand learning opportunities and supports for children, particularly those from low‑ and moderate-income communities.

 

Community Banks – all have a requirement to give back to low income communities

 

Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA)

GOSA offers a variety of grant opportunities throughout the year.  Click for more details.

 

Georgia Electric Membership Corp. (EMC)

An association that enables Georgia’s electric membership corporations to pool their resources to gain strength and efficiency on issues common to the EMCs. A not-for-profit 501 (C)(6), member-owned organization whose mission is to promote the EMCs of Georgia by providing member-focused leadership and a unified voice through advocacy, education and communication.  EMC services include youth and education programs. The local EMCs offer grants to support certain education efforts.

 

Your local United Way

United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community.  They can be a source of funding and partnership for programs.

 

HUD

HUD awards discretionary funding through over 20 Grant programs that support HUD initiatives, including Affordable Housing Development and Preservation, Community and Economic Development, Environment and Energy, Fair Housing, Homelessness, Homeownership, Rental Assistance, and Supportive Housing and Services.

 

DCA

Through various funding programs, the Department of Community Affairs disburses state and federal funds to help build or create something a community has deemed important, such as sidewalks, roads, parks, public buildings, water andsewer facilities, housing choices or economic development projects.

 

Literacy For All

LFA connects innovative, results-focused community partners with each other and with funding opportunities designed to address literacy as a multigenerational community issue.

 

Your local Community Foundation

 

Annie E. Casey Foundation

The mission of the Annie E. Casey Foundation is ambitious: to improve the futures of millions of disadvantaged children and their families.

To achieve results, we focus on developing solutions to build a brigher future for children, families and communities. As such, our grant-making strategies are focused on policies and practices that improve the outcomes of kids, families, communities and reform-minded leaders.

 

Arthur M. Blank Foundation

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes positive change in peoples’ lives and builds and enhances the communities in which they live. We seek innovative solutions that enable young people, families and communities to achieve results beyond what seems possible today.

 

Promise Zone

Through the Promise Zones Initiative, the Federal government will work strategically with local leaders to boost economic activity and job growth, improve educational opportunities, reduce crime and leverage private investment to improve the quality of life

 

The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant (“CNIG”) is a grant funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support communities that have undergone a comprehensive local planning process and created a Neighborhood Transformation Plan (“NTP”) to revitalize a severely distressed public housing site and to redevelop the surrounding neighborhood(s). In November 2014, HUD issued a request for applications under the FY2014 CNIG program, with grant awards up to $30M.  The Atlanta Housing Authority (“AHA”) applied as the Lead Applicant with the City of Atlanta (“COA”) as the Co‐Applicant.  Atlanta received a $30M grant on September 28, 2015.  The focus area of the CNIG is the revitalization of the former University Homes public housing complex and the surrounding neighborhoods of Ashview Heights, the Atlanta University Center Neighborhood and Vine City, collectively known as the University Choice Neighborhood (“UCN”). The $30M in grant funding will leverage $395M in other public, private and philanthropic commitments from AHA, the COA, Invest Atlanta and other public and private stakeholder organizations. For more information about Choice Neighborhood Grants click here.  

 

Georgia Department of Education

 

Department of Justice

The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) serves as the State Administering Agency (SAA) for numerous federal grant programs and manages state grant programs funded by the Georgia General Assembly. As the SAA, CJCC applies for grants on behalf of the State of Georgia and then makes awards to subgrantees to carry out approved programs. 

 

Atlanta Regional Commission

Metrics

 

2

2

It is not enough to just offer programs and measure attendance.  Insist on quality and measure program effectiveness.

 

The most common metrics for measuring success of literacy programs are:

 

0 – 3 yrs old:

  • Executive function and self-regulation:

skills that support learning in math, literacy and other areas.

Examples: Working memory, ability to focus attention, ignore distractions, and move from one task to another.  Self-regulation refers to the ability to control behavior and emotions.

  • Early math skills. Examples of foundational math skills: Knowing how to name numbers; compare quantities; perform basic addition, shape and spatial awareness.

  • Early literacy skills. Examples of foundational literacy skills: Receptive language, expressive language, alphabet knowledge, listening comprehension and name writing.

 

PreK – 12th grade:

  • Milestone Completion

  • Grades, especially for English language arts

Note:  It is important to work in partnership with the school system to develop a data sharing agreement to effectively measure and monitor literacy progress.  Click here for an example of a data sharing agreement between a housing authority and a school system. Britta please link to AHA Data sharing agreement.

 

Adult Education:

   http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/556491439912390777/4-Measuring-Early-Childhood-Outcomes-de-Laat.pdf

How to Get Started

 
  1. Seek partnerships with and invite to an initial planning meeting:

  • GA FCP Director

  • CLCP Director

  • School Principals (elementary, middle and high)

  • TCSG representative

  • Quality early learning center Directors

  • Chamber of Commerce Leaders

  1. Survey community residents to understand their needs and interests.

  2. Talk to residents by holding a meeting to discuss ideas for improvement.

  3. Communicate with residents from the perspective of creating a better life for their children.  Encourage parents to build skills in order to better support their children, financially and academically.

  4. Spend time showing the upside to residents, really helping them understand the benefits, building buy-in and demand for the program.

 

Additional Resources

Below are some additional resources.  This is not intended to be an all inclusive list.

 

Appendices

© 2018 by Georgia Literacy Commission.