With almost 30 partners including successful non-profits, businesses, hospitals, five separate schools and two school districts, Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (CVPromise) is certainly not your run of the mill program. Brands, policies and procedures may all look different, but there is one collective goal—to support all children in the Castle Park neighborhood to achieve academic excellence and aspire to college and career track. As we end our first year, we have lots of lessons learned but most importantly many successes to share locally and with other Promise Neighborhoods throughout the country.
Of the 12 Promise Neighborhoods currently serving communities, only a very few have partners and their staff working directly on school campuses. CVPromise is one of them and this collaborative approach has made it a model program with leadership from across the country coming to observe and benchmark.
Laying the foundation has not been not beyond its challenges. All CVPromise partners have brought their unique perspective, expertise, respective brands and ways of working to the table. It is an innovative cross-sector partnership with a goal to work and think holistically not only in relation to the services each provides, but in their relationship to each other’s work.
In this first year, there have been many successes. The first batches of college acceptances have been coming in and families are sharing their happiness with teachers, counselors and CVPromise Academic Advocates as well.
The “Imagination Garden” at Castle Park Elementary school is thriving with seasonal fruits and vegetables along with a growing parent volunteer group tending it daily and various preschool, elementary and after-school programs utilizing it for teaching activities and opportunities. With schools as their hub and support from CVPromise, Castle Park residents have begun walking clubs, neighborhood watches and other new community activities. New parent centers and literacy cafes have been uniquely developed for each of the five CVPromise schools. And the work continues.
As a Promise Neighborhood, there is little question about the passion for the work. But, to succeed we need more than just stories to help meet goals. CVPromise’s research-driven initiative, born from the needs and strengths of the Castle Park community allows the program to establish accountability, continuously improve models, and monitor progress. Soon, the first year’s results well be ready and together partners, parents and community can study impact efforts and develop a sustainable movement not only for our own community but for others as well.
Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (CVPromise) is proud to partner with Castle Park Elementary, Castle Park Middle, Castle Park High School, Hilltop Middle and Hilltop High School to bring new opportunities and pathways of success for their students and families. For more information, please visit CVPromise.org or call (619) 420-3620.