ERIC Number: ED463828
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluation of Free To Grow, Phase II: Detailed Profile of the Free To Grow Project in California. Final Report.
The Free to Grow pilot project, developed by the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and its Head Start project, operated between 1994 and 1999. Following a 2-year planning and development stage, 5 project sites went on to complete the 3-year implementation phase in California, Colorado, Kentucky, New York, and Puerto Rico; the Compton, California site is detailed in this profile. The project's goal was to prevent substance abuse problems by reducing risks and enhancing protecting factors at the family and community levels. Through a community-wide coalition and safe space task forces based in schools and Head Start centers, parents and other residents developed leadership skills and worked to improve the physical, social, and cultural environment of their neighborhoods and schools. Groups of parent and youth advocates promoted project efforts and substance abuse prevention. Project accomplishments included persuading local police to establish Drug-Free School Zones, graffiti removal programs, school watch patrols, and stronger enforcement of local ordinances governing storefront advertising of alcohol and tobacco products. The project experience provided several lessons about the challenges of conducting substance abuse prevention and community building within a stressed environment. The model used was conceptually strong, rooted in substance abuse prevention theory and connected to parents of young children. Although the project demonstrated success in grassroots organizing, it lacked relationship- and consensus-building skills necessary to overcome major obstacles in the community and the Head Start/grantee environment, such as school performance problems, tensions between blacks and Latinos, and leadership changes and performance problems at the Head Start level. Notable successes included the development of a self-sustaining task force, significant school changes, the provision of a mechanism for parental support, and strong ties with the local police department. (Appended is a chart detailing the logic model for California's Free to Grow Project.) (KB)
Descriptors: Community Change, Community Cooperation, Community Involvement, Demonstration Programs, Models, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Prevention, Program Descriptions, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Program Implementation, School Community Relationship, Substance Abuse
Publications Department, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543-2393 (Document no. PR01-14, $3.40). Tel: 609-799-3535; Fax: 609-799-0005. For full text: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/PDFs/ftgcaprofile.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ.
Authoring Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, NJ.
Identifiers - Location: California