A DCF Focus Conversation
At this free community event on June 27, 2019, participants learned about promising collaborative projects underway in the Dover area and how to become part of their exciting work. This event is designed for nonprofit leaders and board members, corporate and community leaders, and committed community members looking for opportunities to contribute to creative partnerships and effective collaborations that have maximum impact in the community.
Participating initiatives shared their presentation materials below:
Building Economic Opportunity in Downtown Dover
Presenting Organization: Downtown Dover Partnership
The Downtown Dover Partnership is committed to driving an improved quality of life for the residents and visitors of Dover through collective collaboration, economic development and promotion of downtown Dover’s unique historic properties. Downtown Dover Partnership collaborative projects include Unlock the Block, the Capital City Farmers Market, Downtown Dover Ambassador Program (DDAP), Small Business Saturday, the proposed City Bike Share program, First Fridays and overall community outreach.
Education Equity Delaware Coalition
Education Equity Delaware is a growing coalition of nonprofit, education, business, civil rights, and community groups dedicated to advocating together to update Delaware’s education funding system to be more fair, flexible, transparent and responsive to student needs. In 2018, the Education Equity Delaware coalition grew from 22 to 30 organizations, held the first Delaware Education Funding Summit, and helped advocated for the passage of Senate Bill 172 to increase transparency of school funding information. In 2019 they are focusing on legislative outreach, community organizing and communicating about the need for a student-centered education funding system.
Healthy Communities Delaware
Presenting Organization: Delaware Community Foundation and STAR Campus, University of Delaware
A new consortium of public, nonprofit and private organizations in Delaware that are committed to improving the health and well-being of low-wealth communities in our state.
Homelessness and Affordable Housing
Presenting Organization: Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing
Greater Dover is experiencing an increase in the number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Many have been displaced from housing due to its high cost, while others cannot afford to pay required security deposits and initial rents due to the lack of savings. This is often combined with poor credit and less-stable work histories, making applicants for available housing less desirable to landlords. A significant share of the homeless population suffers from mental illness or addiction, with some unaware of treatment options that may be available to them. The number of elderly and disabled adults on fixed and limited incomes is rising as well, placing further pressure on the local rental housing market for affordable units. There is truly a crisis in affordable housing, with long waiting lists for assisted housing and little choice for those with previous incarceration, inadequate incomes, and other limitations. The discussion will focus on what is being done and on what might be done to address the affordable housing issue in the Dover area along with homelessness and current efforts to assist those experiencing it.
Poverty: Causes and Conditions
Presenting Organization: First State Community Action Agency
Community Action Agencies seek to involve the community, including elected public officials, private sector representatives and especially low-income residents, in assessing local needs and attacking the causes and conditions of poverty.While most poverty-related organizations focus on a specific area of need, such as job training, healthcare, housing or economic development, Community Action Agencies reach out to low-income people in their communities, address their multiple needs through a comprehensive approach, develop partnerships with other community organizations, involve low-income clients in the agencies’ operations, and administer a full range of coordinated programs to have a measurable impact on poverty.
Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN)
Presenting Organization: Peace by Piece
Peace by Piece is looking to augment and expand existing efforts targeting criminal activity in Dover. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has partnered with Saad Soliman, Executive Director of Peace By Piece/PEERS Mentoring Center (PMC) to implement its Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Dover project. The PSN Dover project will engage key stakeholders and deploy violence disrupters into the target area to assess community needs and deter and deescalate ongoing violent criminal activity. PSN is a nationwide strategy to reduce violent criminal activity.
Project SEARCH is a partnership between Capital School District’s Kent County Community School and Bayhealth along with several other state agencies and private groups that provides opportunities for disabled students to work through structured internships that lead to post school employment. The program boasts high rates of post school employment for its interns and represents the Capital School District’s commitment to producing great outcomes for all students.
Restoring Central Dover
Presenting Organization: NCALL
NCALL is the lead agency of Restoring Central Dover, a major community development initiative primarily funded by the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. The Restoring Central Dover Steering Committee meets monthly and receives frequent feedback from its five work groups: Housing, Community Engagement, Safety, Economic Development, Transportation, Green Space and Infrastructure. The initiative has significantly improved how institutions operate and communicate with each other within Central Dover. Residents of varying socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds have come together and co-invested, resulting in greater buy-in and increased resident leadership. This initiative has changed how government and police interact with the community, as evidenced by a number of successful advocacy campaigns and increased city investment. Restoring Central Dover has inspired and worked with other communities to replicate this comprehensive, resident-driven revitalization model.
Social Emotional Learning Collaborative
Presenting Organization: Capital School District
The Delaware Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Collaborative is a grassroots collective focused on building a common understanding of social emotional learning and the conditions that support it across the state. This work includes creating a framework of SEL competencies, providing resources for stakeholders to intentionally create conditions that foster SEL, and facilitating coordination and knowledge sharing within and across schools, districts, charter schools, families and community partners.
STEM Programs in Community Centers
Presenting Organization: Delaware Multicultural Civic Organization (DEMCO), Inc.
DEMCO Academy has been serving the communities in the State of Delaware, specifically Kent County, for over 20 years. DEMCO has established a standard of excellence in instruction, pedagogy and classroom management. DEMCO is proud to have served over 90% of the schools in Kent County through individualized tutorials, group tutorials, mentoring sessions, after school programming housed in the school districts offering, prevention programming, and various academic and enrichment programs.
Trauma Informed Practice
Presenting Organization: Delaware Department of Education
Trauma-informed practices are a universal support for making our school communities physically, psychologically and emotionally safe and supportive. Strategies provide a conceptual framework for understanding and relating to students that focus on the intersection of brain science and behavior, recognizing the signs of dysregulation, and responding with strength-based routines, rituals and skill-building to prepare the brain for the “alertness” of learning. Delaware’s Developmental Framework, detailed in Governor John Carney’s Executive Order #24, will be used to explain the change process which is designed to fundamentally shift all state agencies and school systems from levels of awareness to responsive and informed.
For questions or more information, please contact Yolanda Rushdan, community impact program associate.