Community Engagement

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Since it’s inception, Children’s Optimal Health has been involved in community collaborations in the Austin, TX area. Below are some of the projects and organizations in which we have participated:

“Success By 6” School Readiness Action Plan

In 2012, Success By 6 released the first School Readiness Action Plan (SRAP). A strong coalition of early childhood advocates, experts, parents, service providers, and business leaders worked to transform the early childhood system in Travis County through a strategic plan. Built through two decades of advocacy work by local early childhood champions, the plan was informed by the science of early childhood development and by the emergence of strong programs with demonstrated long-term and meaningful impact on children and families. United Way’s Success By 6 led this coalition as it worked to achieve the ambitious goals outlined in the first plan and released the second SRAP in 2015 that sustains the progress made while accelerating the work. Learn more:

Travis County Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition

Strengthening collaboration among community partners that support efforts to prevent or reduce youth substance abuse. The mission of YSAP is to establish and strengthen collaboration among community partners that support efforts to prevent or reduce youth substance abuse in Travis County. Coalition members include representation from youth substance abuse prevention, treatment, recovery, law enforcement, business, healthcare, public education, non-profit, research, local government, students, parents, and youth-serving organizations. Learn more:

Learn All the Time

Learn All the Time (LATT), formerly known as the Central Texas Afterschool Network is a network of 70 collaborating nonprofit and public agencies providing OST or related services to youth and their families. Participating organizations include youth service providers, funders; Ready by 21; United Ways of Greater Austin; E3 Alliance; the City of Austin, Travis County and area school districts. LATT serves as an intermediary organization whose purpose is to guide a research-based approach to coordinate the work of out-of-school time (OST) service providers, public agencies, funders, and schools to achieve the common vision that all Central Texas children and youth become future ready by participating in an eco-system of high-quality out-of-school time experiences. Learn more:

Early Childhood Results Count!

The Early Childhood Results Count initiative was designed to build on the great work of those who are working for children and families every day in our community. Central Texas has been championing school readiness for many years, but drastic changes to our early childhood systems caused by decreased  state and federal funding mean that we have find new approaches to change systems in order to advance the needs of our youngest community members and turn around the alarming drop in school readiness our region has seen. We adopted an aggressive tactical goal: that 1500 fewer Kindergarteners would come in “not ready” next year. This tactical target is aligned with our strategic goal that 70% of our children enter Kindergarten school Ready by 2020. Learn more:

Community Advancement Network

Community Advancement Network (CAN) is a partnership of government, non-profit, private and faith-based organizations who work together to enhance the social, health, educational and economic well-being of Central Texas. CAN provides a unique, collaborative forum to enhance awareness of issues, strengthen partnerships, connect efforts across issue areas, and facilitate development of collaborative strategies. Learn more:

Travis County Children’s Mental Health Plan

The Travis County Children’s Mental Health Plan is a coordinated, five-year plan to improve the wellness of children and youth in Travis County. The plan is built upon three assumptions: (1) investments in prevention and early intervention can result in significant savings for the community; (2) social and emotional development are essential to school readiness, academic success and economic prosperity; and (3) a comprehensive, coordinated children’s behavioral health system can help maximize resources, minimize duplication of services, and divert high-risk children and youth from the criminal justice and foster care systems. Learn more:

Kids Living Well

Kids Living Well, formerly The Child and Youth Mental Health Planning Partnership, is comprised of many dedicated and experienced professionals working together to promote the mental health of Travis County children and youth. Monthly meetings heighten the community’s awareness of emerging issues for children and families, serve as a place to contribute to and implement the Travis County Children’s Mental Health Plan, and provide opportunities for networking and advocacy. Learn more:

Go Austin/Vamos Austin

Go Austin/Vamos Austin (GAVA) is a coalition of residents, community leaders, and nonprofits organizing to improve the health of communities in Dove Springs (78744) and 78745 by increasing access to and participation in physical activity and improved nutrition. Learn more:

Healthy Parks Plan

The Healthy Parks Plan will improve community health by expanding access to the benefits of parks—including increased opportunities for physical activity. The plan will also advance equity in the region by directly engaging communities with the greatest need. Learn more:

March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We believe that every baby deserves the best possible start. Unfortunately, not all babies get one. We are changing that. For 80 years, March of Dimes has helped millions of babies survive and thrive. Now we’re building on that legacy to level the playing field for all moms and babies, no matter their age, socio-economic background or demographics. We support moms throughout their pregnancy, even when everything doesn’t go according to plan. We advocate for policies that prioritize their health. We support radical improvements to the care they receive. And we pioneer research to find solutions to the biggest health threats to moms and babies. Learn more: