Project Updates

Promise Neighborhoods Planning Grant Goes to Camden, New Jersey

The Center for Family Services in Camden, New Jersey, was awarded a highly competitive federal Promise Neighborhoods planning grant in December. With Metis’s grant development help, the organization—together with multiple partners—received one of only 17 Promise Neighborhoods grants awarded nationwide in 2012, out of 200 applicants. Promise Neighborhoods is a federal program aimed at ensuring that all children and youth in the targeted areas have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career.

The $500,000 planning grant is focused on developing interlocking programs to improve the educational prospects for young people in the one-quarter-square-mile Camden neighborhood of Cooper Lanning. The city of Camden has long had a reputation as an extremely dangerous city, but the Center for Family Services has emerged as a force for positive change, operating some 50 programs, including Head Start and a home visiting program for at-risk families with young children.

“The leaders of this project are looking to turn around a very needy city where kids see violence every day,” says Donna Wilkens, Metis managing senior associate. “They’re trying to level the playing field to improve student achievement.”

Working with the key partners, Metis will lead a community needs assessment and help develop a longitudinal database to track the progress of the various project components. To establish baseline measures of community needs, Metis will conduct surveys of community members including children and youth, early learning providers, and local leaders, focused on educational, health, and economic needs and safety issues.

Promise Neighborhoods endorses a “cradle-to-career” continuum of children’s and family services, with education at its core. To measure progress, grantees must track statistics related to school readiness, student proficiency on state tests, attendance in middle school, high school graduation, and post-secondary plans. Grant recipients also monitor unemployment rates, crime, and housing conditions as well as health indicators such as physical activity and nutrition, asthma rates, and births to teenagers.

Metis also recently assisted the Camden Mayor’s Office in securing a grant from the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention for a project that will take place in tandem with Promise Neighborhoods. The Mayor’s office, together with the Center for Family Services, applied for this grant—part of a national demonstration project—through the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to fund a Camden Youth Prevention Policy Board. The grant has supported a needs assessment and a large expansion of the board, including the development of workgroups that plan strategically to reduce youth violence.

Click here to read more about Metis’s work with organizations undertaking community revitalization efforts, including those with funding from the Promise Neighborhoods program.

news archive - 2013

December 19, 2013
Kathleen Agaton Receives 2013 Making a Meaningful Difference Award

December 13, 2013
Metis and Eskolta Hold Forum on Measuring Success of Transfer Schools

October 22, 2013
Metis Paints School Mural on New York Cares Day

October 15, 2013
Metis to Present Results of Arts Education Studies at 2013 AEA Conference

October 15, 2013
Jing Zhu to Present Results of Drop-Out-Prevention Program at 2013 AEA Conference

August 22, 2013
The Magnet Compass Features an Interview with Metis’s Claire Aulicino

August 8, 2013
Fairfield County Community Foundation Puts Metis Research Results into Action

July 8, 2013
Metis Congratulates the Winners of New York State 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grants

June 21, 2013
Metis Begins Evaluation of Girl Scout Leadership Institute

May 9, 2013
Metis to Evaluate the PEP Foundation College Readiness Program

May 7, 2013
Metis Begins Audit of Baltimore County Magnet Schools

April 24, 2013
Metis to Evaluate New York City Race to the Top Initiative

April 4, 2013
Metis Staff to Present at AERA Conference April 30, 2013

April 4, 2013
Metis to Evaluate Boys & Girls Clubs of America Summer Program

March 5, 2013
Metis Evaluation Featured in National Striving Readers Report

February 28, 2013
Promise Neighborhoods Planning Grant Goes to Camden, New Jersey

January 10, 2013
Metis Begins an Evaluation Project with Palm Beach County Children’s Services

January 5, 2013
Ada Chau Receives Making a Meaningful Difference Award


Project Updates Archive - 2015

Project Updates Archive - 2014

Project Updates Archive - 2013

Project Updates Archive - 2012