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University of Pennsylvania's University-Assisted Community Schools

Ira Harkavy, director of the University of Pennsylvania's (UPenn's) Netter Center for Community Partnerships, and the staff of the Netter Center have submitted this short video on its university-assisted community school at Sayre High School.

The President's Office at UPenn produced the video, and it is one of several that it hopes to produce throughout the upcoming year on important University priorities - in this case, Engaging Locally and Penn¹s commitment to public education in West Philadelphia.

Further information on their university-assisted community school work is available at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships' website.

UPenn COPC Center Announces Release of Neighborhood Revitalization Toolkit

The University of Pennsylvania's (UPenn's) Netter Center for Community Partnership has announced the release of the Anchor Institutions Toolkit: A Guide for Neighborhood Revitalization, which is available from the Netter Center's website in PDF format.

The toolkit, developed by the center with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has been developed as a tool for anchor institutions to use as a guide to rebuild, revitalize, strengthen, and improve their local communities.

Each of the tools in this kit was developed and implemented by UPenn working with stakeholders of West Philadelphia, UPenn's local geographic community, including neighborhood associations, city officials and city agencies, local businesses, nonprofits, and higher education institutions as appropriate.

The toolkit provides an overview of UPenn’s trajectory in recognizing and acting upon its role as an anchor institution, prior to and including the launching of a major effort in 1996-the West Philadelphia Initiatives. The toolkit draws from UPenn’s work in West Philadelphia, focusing primarily on the initiatives that were launched under the leadership of then President Judith Rodin. The toolkit’s goal is to help other anchor institutions understand the steps that were taken by UPenn, the challenges the institution faced, and the results.

The initiatives embody the tools utilized by UPenn to effect significant major transformation and revitalization in West Philadelphia. The toolkit follows the work up to 2007, under the current leadership of President Amy Gutmann, whose Penn Compact challenges UPenn to engage locally to advance central values of democracy: life, liberty, opportunity and mutual respect.

UPenn COPC Center Director and Professor Co-Author Book

Francis Johnston, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and Ira Harkavy, Director of UPenn's Netter Center for Community Partnerships, have co-authored The Obesity Culture: Strategies for Change, Public Health and University-Community Partnerships.

Work on community health and nutrition has been a major part of the Netter Center's university-assisted community schools efforts since the early 1990s. Frank Johnston has been the key faculty member working on these programs.

The following is the publication announcement on the book from the publisher:

Rampant in the consumer economy, and coexisting alongside poverty in developing countries, obesity is a global burden. It is also a public health problem that affects advantaged and disadvantaged communities with maximum penalties for the poor. The roots are found within an obesogenic culture and they grow from preconception and through into childhood. The personal and social price is economic, psychological and physical such that obesity becomes an indicator of a culture gone wrong.

Francis E. Johnston, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, and Ira Harkavy, Director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, combine to suggest strategies for change based on community schools and university partnerships. They draw on experience at Sayre School and the Agatston Nutrition Institute which have witnessed student, faculty, and community partnership at work.

Johnston and Harkavy propose that university-community partnerships are uniquely poised to break down the culture of obesity. Such partnerships benefit all: community, schools, university. There are research opportunities. There is student learning and motivation. Better community health. The obesity culture is both principled and practical as evidenced in the table of contents: 1) Introduction 2) Obesity in the 21st century 3) The burden of obesity 4) Obesity as ill-defined problem 5) Patterns and paradoxes of the obesity culture 6) The power of partnerships: universities schools and communities 7) The Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative 8) The Sayre High School-Penn University assisted community school initiative 9) On societies, mirrors and obesity.

The publication date for this book is March 31, 2009. To reserve copies, please visit the Enfield Publishing and Distribution Company online order form or call toll-free 1-888-216-7611.

North Carolina A&T State University Develops Economic Opportunity for Low-Income Families

North Carolina A&T State University's Leadership and Community Development Cluster is using its knowledge to develop economic opportunity for low-income families in southeast Greensboro, North Carolina. Dr. Musibau Shofoluwe, professor in the department of construction management and safety in the School of Technology, received a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Office of University Partnerships for the project. The HUD program that awarded the grant is designed to help HBCUs expand their role and effectiveness in developing their communities with neighborhood revitalization, housing, and economic development.
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The Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships

The University of Pennsylvania will name its Center for Community Partnerships for Edward Netter, a 1953 graduate of Penn’s College, and his wife, Barbara, in recognition of their commitments of more than $10 million.

“One of Penn’s great strengths lies in our ability to work hand-in-hand with our West Philadelphia neighbors to improve lives,” President Amy Gutmann said. “This extraordinarily generous gift from Barbara and Edward Netter will enable Penn students, faculty and staff to deepen and expand this creative and dynamic partnership. The Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships will greatly enhance Penn’s ability to make a difference in our West Philadelphia community while creating new knowledge that can benefit communities everywhere.”

Since its 1992 founding, the Center has been a catalyst for the transformation of West Philadelphia from a declining neighborhood to one with a promising future (Almanac July 14, 1992). The Center directs the talents and idealism of thousands of Penn students in addressing problems of schools, health care, childhood obesity, environmental hazards, unemployment and economic decline. Penn faculty teach more than 50 courses a year that engage students with the community, enriching their academic experience as well as benefiting the neighborhood they serve. This type of academic work led to the development of the university-assisted community schools model which had not previously existed, one that research is finding to be effective, cost efficient and of proven success.
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University of North Carolina Wilmington Helps Tackle Obesity

In 2004, a number of community nonprofits and health-related service providers in Southeastern North Carolina recognized that obesity was a significant health threat and something needed to be done. Acting independently of each other, they wrote grant proposals to the Cape Fear Memorial Foundation and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Foundation, both of which fund health care initiatives.

In the meantime, under the leadership of Steve Demski, vice chancellor for public service and continuing studies, a group of UNCW faculty and staff began meeting to see how UNCW could address obesity concerns in the area, building on existing faculty research strengths related to obesity and healthy living.
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Thirty Graduate From HUD-Funded Program in National City, California

In 2005, HUD awarded Southwestern College a Hispanic-Serving Institution Assisting Communities (HSIAC) grant to establish a microenterprise family childcare program. The courses are offered in Spanish and through the Continuing Education program. Southwestern College, in collaboration with key community partners, provides several critical services to help participants successfully complete the program and achieve the goal of establishing their own businesses and/or pursuing a child development career. The majority of the participants are the residents of National City and the surrounding area, which is in California, just above the U.S. Mexico border.
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Grand Opening of AHC Atkinson Lifelong Learning Center

Allan Hancock College and the City of Santa Maria, California, will host an open house to celebrate the opening of the Allan Hancock College Atkinson Lifelong Learning Center on Friday, August 18, 2006. The center is a partnership project between Allan Hancock College and Santa Maria, and funded in part through a $600,000 Hispanic-Serving Institutions Assisting Communities (HSIAC) grant from HUD's Office of University Partnerships.
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New Office at OJC Offers Assistance to Nonprofits With Grant Writing

A new office designed to help area nonprofit organizations in their quest to secure grant funding has officially opened at Otero Junior College (OJC). The Grant Resource Office, located inside the Southeastern Colorado Resource Enterprise (SCORE) Center, was funded through the HUD Hispanic-Serving Institutions Assisting Communities (HSIAC) grant received by OJC in 2004.
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SCORE Center Opens at OJC

The Southeast Colorado Resource Enterprise (SCORE) Center, a one-stop facility that was built to meet the needs of economic development, business, housing, and nonprofit organizations in the region, has officially opened on the Otero Junior College(OJC) campus.
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CU-Ithaca Partnership Program at Cornell University Refurbishes Computers for Area Families

Rather than pack used computer parts away in the closet, you can donate them to the Ithaca Youth Bureau, where local teenagers will refurbish them and donate them to low-income families in the area.
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University of Alaska at Anchorage COPC Upgrades Local Computer Lab

As part of the infrastructure component of their Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC) program, the University of Alaska at Anchorage worked with a local organization, the Anchorage Literacy Project, to upgrade their computer lab.
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California-Mexico Border Community Sees New Hope in HUD Grant to San Diego State University

The City of Calexico on the California-Mexico border is moving a step further to solid economic growth and a better way of life for its residents thanks to HUD and San Diego State University.
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