The Village is so involved in the community! How do you get so many other organizations involved in your program?

The idea of community engagement is not new.  In 2011 the National Institute of Health (NIH) published their report, “Principles of Community Engagement” to follow up the original 1997 version done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Before 1997 there may not have been a fancy name for it, but people have always helped neighbors and friends.  The Village is lucky to be surrounded by people and organizations who really care about young children and their development.

The Village schools focus on early childhood education and childcare which connect directly and indirectly (through families) with nearly everyone in our area, including:

  • California Police Department
  • California Volunteer Fire Company
  • Brownsville Ambulance Service
  • California Borough Recreation Authority
  • Penn West California and its student clubs
  • California Area School District
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities (Care Mobile)
  • Miracle Dental (visiting dental exams)
  • Pastor of United Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Boro Streets Department
  • Public Library
  • Post Office
  • Armstrong
  • Walmart
  • Rite Aid

Community Engagement works both ways.  The Village participates in local community events and our community partners support our programs and participate in our events for the children.  We share commitments to the safety, wellbeing, and education of children from birth to grade school, including before/after school and summer camps.

 According to NIH, “From a systems perspective, a community is similar to a living creature, comprising different parts that represent specialized functions, activities, or interests, each operating within specific boundaries to meet community needs. For example, schools focus on education, the transportation sector focuses on moving people and products, economic entities focus on enterprise and employment, faith organizations focus on the spiritual and physical well-being of people, and healthcare agencies focus on the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries (Henry, 2011). For the community to function well, each part has to effectively carry out its role in relation to the whole organism. A healthy community has well-connected, interdependent sectors that share responsibility for recognizing and resolving problems and enhancing its well-being. Successfully addressing a community’s complex problems requires integration, collaboration, and coordination of resources from all parts (Thompson et al., 1990).

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