Findings

Parent Mentor Program

  •  Significant improvement from pre to post program in career decision making (p < .05).
  • Significant improvement in pre to post program in parental confidence (p < .05).
  • 100% reporting of program satisfaction, effectiveness, and usefulness

The Little Bus Program

  •  During the course of the program children are showing growth in a variety of critical domains such as cognitive, language and social and emotional development.
  • Little Bus children are showing improvement in meeting or exceeding widely held expectations (compared to standard preschool scores) in critical domains during the program.
  • From Winter to Spring 2012/2013 GOLD assessment exceeds expectations: 63% increase in cognitive; 51% increase in language; 50% increase in social/emotional skills

Valley Settlement Participants

  • Approximately 300 adults and 700 children served by Valley Settlement in the initial nine months 91.3% of participants have children
  • Average time living in the Valley is 11.1 years
  • Family income = 21% (< $20K); 34% ($20—30K); 26% ($31—35K); 19% (> $35K)
  • 90% of The Little Bus Children’s primary language is Spanish
  • Approximately 50 organizations have been interviewed by Valley Settlement

Conclusions

The Valley Settlement Project cultivates partnerships and commitments with families, local agencies, and schools, working together on a community organizing driven approach to improving family well-being and engagement and child school readiness. Current preliminary results demonstrate evidence of project success with two programs via outcome measures and satisfaction and effectiveness feedback. Specifically, improvements in career and parenting confidence were found for the parent mentor program. Children participating in The Little Bus program showed improvement on a variety of critical developmental areas and also when compared to state preschool standards. The Valley Settlement Project is conducting a rigorous evaluation aiming to add quantifiable program impact to existing success stories. Current data are encouraging and future reports will further highlight outcomes of this dual generation project.

To encourage community engagement, programs that work with parents should promote a sense of empowerment within participants (Koren et al., 1992). The Valley Settlement Project understands the importance of increasing self-sufficiency through promoting empowerment of marginalized families, interrupting the conditions and disconnection that perpetuates poverty and poor student achievement.

*Prepared by Madipen, LLC; sara.anne.tompkins@hotmail.com