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United Way of San Diego County to Anchor City Heights Partnership for Children

“Collective Impact” Initiative Supports Area Youth from Cradle to College or Career

San Diego, CA, September 24, 2013 --( Supporting every child, every step of the way – That is the goal of the City Heights Partnership for Children (the Partnership), an initiative that will now be anchored by United Way of San Diego County to ensure the children of City Heights, and ultimately the San Diego region, are supported and successful from cradle to career or college.

“At the City Heights Partnership for Children, we are using ‘Collective Impact,’ a nationally proven approach for solving a range of complex social issues without spending a lot of new taxpayer money,” said Executive Director Tad Parzen. “Together as a community, we are building a new way of serving our young people, assuring they gain early and ongoing skills to become successful and productive adults. As leaders of Collective Impact in San Diego County, United Way has stepped up as the anchor organization for the Partnership to coordinate and drive the effort.”

Collective Impact requires all partners to use the same research data, agree to the same benchmarks and goals – and ultimately, work together to find enduring and creative solutions to solve chronic social problems. Unlike other joint ventures and partnerships, Collective Impact has clearly defined components that must be met, including a centralized infrastructure with its own organization and staff to keep the initiative on-task.

Using this approach, the Partnership brings together leaders from the education, health and human services, nonprofit, business, civic, and philanthropic organizations to build a coordinated and sustained effort that supports San Diego's youth and the schools they attend. The Partnership has four main goals to ensure youth are:

1. Safe, healthy and ready for kindergarten
2. Safe, healthy and achieve 3rd grade literacy proficiency
3. Safe, healthy and achieve 8th grade math and English proficiency
4. Graduate from high school with appropriate skills and experience

“It takes more than just schools to educate children and to raise young people who can participate meaningfully in the community,” said United Way of San Diego President and CEO Doug Sawyer. “The Partnership’s use of the Collective Impact model allows us to create a scalable, replicable and sustainable approach for youth success.”

The Partnership’s initial progress includes organizing and coordinating vision screenings for every child – kindergarten through fifth grade (nearly 5,000 students) – and providing 493 pairs of glasses for those who needed them. A true example of Collective Impact, the project required the teamwork of the schools for coordination, the health provider to conduct the exams, the resources to fund the project, and the internal coordination to oversee referrals, coordinate with parents and make sure the program was successfully completed. The Partnership also led the development of a school-based health center at Clark Middle School, serving more than 15,000 patients since opening in 2012.

To find out more and get involved, visit

About United Way of San Diego County
United Way of San Diego County is part of a network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways around the world. Locally, United Way is creating sustainable change in the areas of education, income, health and homelessness. In addition to the Bright Futures financial self-sufficiency initiative, we are leading the effort to end chronic homelessness through Home Again, a public engagement campaign, and Project 25, which focuses on the most costly and vulnerable homeless individuals. United Way is a key partner in a number of Education initiatives throughout the county. We harness the collective power of nonprofits, community leaders and thousands of individuals to create change by giving, advocating and volunteering. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to get involved. To learn more, visit, our Blog, Facebook and Twitter.
Contact Information
J. Walcher Communications
Alex Revelle

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