Over the course of our Partnership with Community Education Workers (CEW), our collaborative focus has been on launching the CEW model—providing resources to conduct an evaluation of the program’s beginnings. CEW conducts home visits and facilitates group meetings in school communities with low-income families, families of color, and English Language Learners who aren’t connected with parent/child services. The model is grounded in the Community Health Worker model, and aims to be a cultural bridge between families and systems. Now, three years later, we are making a $25,000 reinvestment in CEW to help them transition into stabilization and expansion of the program, which we have collectively been piloting and testing up until now.
This new phase of stabilization and growth will include pursuing grant funding streams and creating a standardized evaluation for the program. The funding provided by SVP will go towards supporting the program through its current transition—recentralizing within a new host program. This new grant will support staff as they focus on stability, sustainability, and key program growth. This should ultimately lead to a groundedness, which will allow CEW to work on organizing and systematizing the training of Community Education Workers participating in the program, and an increase and improvement in the process of data collection. Ultimately, we collectively strive for the CEW model to be seen as a collaborative and culturally-responsive model for early childhood funding that is viable and worthwhile for other sources of funding.
The program has already made a mark on the communities it serves. CEW has provided isolated parents who have felt out of reach of the preschool system with an avenue to develop relationships with early childhood education institutions and schools. The program has helped parents develop support systems, particularly within immigrant and refugee populations, and has helped parents become more involved in advocating for their children in educational settings.