ERIC Number: ED423973
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Bringing the Community into the Process: Issues and Promising Practices for Involving Parents & Business in Local Smart Start Partnerships. UNC Smart Start Evaluation Report.
Cornish, Mary; Noblit, George
Smart Start is North Carolina's partnership between state government and local leaders, service providers, and families to better serve children under age 6 and their families. The aim of the program is ensuring that all children enter school healthy and ready to learn. This study examined parent and business involvement in local Smart Start partnerships, documenting the nature and level of parent and business involvement and identifying promising practices for expanding and enhancing community participation. Data were collected through telephone interviews with 24 executive directors and one randomly selected parent and business person from each partnership, as well as multi-site case studies of four partnerships with high community participation and satisfaction. Findings indicated that parents, business people, and executive directors agreed that community involvement was essential. An array of strategies supported involvement. Parents suggested that increased numbers, community outreach, and improved attitudes were essential for parent involvement. Business people recommended public awareness, education, and clearly and broadly defined role to support business involvement. Roles and responsibility levels differed between parents and business people, with business people more satisfied with their roles than parents. Community participation was an ongoing challenge for most partnerships and state pressures undermined collaboration. An examination of case study partnerships revealed promising practices instrumental in supporting involvement and contributing to satisfaction. There was a strong commitment to community involvement and it was made a priority. Key community leaders were recruited and the number and diversity of community representatives was increased. (Author/KB)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Change Agents, Community Involvement, Community Role, Cooperation, Early Childhood Education, Family Programs, Health Services, Integrated Services, Partnerships in Education, Program Evaluation, School Business Relationship, State Programs, Telephone Surveys, Young Children
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, 105 Smith Level Road, CB #8180, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180; phone: 919-966-3871.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill. Frank Porter Graham Center.
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina