Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Social Innovation Fund 2012
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Title: Growing Together For Healthy Communities
Eligibilty: Eligible Partnership
SIF Model: Geographically-based: Youth Development
Geographic Focus: Delaware Valley Region (Philadelphia/ Chester/ Reading/ Camden)
Populations Served: Low-income children, youth and families
Grant Amount Request: $1,000,000 per year for five years
Preselected subgrantees: No
Growing Together for Healthy Communities (Growing Together) is a geographically-based Social Innovation Fund (SIF) that will cultivate a high-performing and collaborative network of nonprofit organizations to employ service-learning, higher education partnerships, and a focus on improving community food systems as strategies to foster high-quality youth development.
Growing Together will build on the successful model of the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative, a program of the University of Pennsylvania, which for the past ten years has demonstrated how youth-driven service-learning programs supported by institutions of higher education can build pathways to success for youth in Philadelphia. This project will address significant challenges faced by low-income communities in the Delaware Valley including rising youth violence, high youth unemployment and soaring high school drop-out rates.
Convened by the Mayor's Office of Philadelphia, Growing Together is a partnership of several strong organizations including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) which will serve as the lead intermediary, the Tuttleman Family Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Youth Network. PHS has a history of providing approximately $5,000,000 dollars annually in grants and sub-contracts through our vacant land management program, flower show, gardening and park improvements. This represents 25% of the overall PHS operating budget. Growing Together will be supported by a team of contracted partners including: the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network -AACORN (evidence-based interventions and evaluation); the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (technical assistance and training?); and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (evaluation of adolescent health impacts).
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is requesting $1,000,000 per year for five years, for a total of $5,000,000 in Federal funding between 10/01/2012 and 9/30/17. Growing Together will secure a one-to-one match of $1,000,000 for year one, including $500,000 commitments/cash on hand at the time of application from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Tuttleman Family Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Youth Network. PHS is a qualifying grant-making institution and will serve as the lead intermediary for this project.
By leveraging significant resources that will build organizational capacity and facilitate new collaborations, this SIF will have a transformative impact on promising efforts of small and grassroots organizations in the region, nurturing food systems service-learning projects and higher education partnerships as strategies to anchor high-quality youth development programs. Growing Together will support positive academic and health outcomes of participants as well as seek to improve overall community health through youth-led urban food production, distribution and education programs. The Growing Together SIF will engage 1000 youth service learning leaders who will organize projects that will serve an additional 20,000 children, youth and adults in the project service area.
The project's primary goal is that 90% of the 1000 Growing Together service learning leaders entering 9th grade from 2012 through 2017 from ten targeted low-income communities will graduate from high school with the cognitive and life skills for success.
Outcomes for youth will be measured through school performance and the Healthy Pathways Survey, a validated and reliable assessment of fundamental aspects of adolescent well-being developed at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Growing Together expects to receive 25-30 responses from nonprofits through a competitive RFP process and to award 10-12 subgrants averaging between $100,000 and $200,000 annually.