Who are We?
The Youth Violence Prevention Center-Denver (YVPC-D) is a 5-year grant initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its purpose is to reduce violence among 10- to 24-year-olds in the Montbello and Northeast Park Hill (NEPH) communities. In NEPH, Park Hill Strong uses the Communities That Care (CTC) framework to identify and implement appropriate individual-, peer-, and family-level strategies to impact youth violence. These are strategies that target risk and protective factors in the civic, social, and physical contexts of communities and have a broad reach to affect widely held values and normative behavior. https://www.colorado.edu/cspv/yvpc-denver/
Park Hill Strong is supported by YVPC-D and is under the umbrella of Park Hill Collective Impact whose mission is to ensure that every single child in Park Hill is provided the supports needed to thrive academically, socially, emotionally and economically from birth through age 25. They accomplish this work with five Equity Action Committees (EAC’s) of which PHS covers the Juvenile Justice area of focus. Other EAC’s are focused on Academic Equity, Academic Performance, Community Health, Economics & Housing and Emerging Adults & Youth Leadership.
What are our Strategies?
A public marketing and media campaign will be implemented to address the community’s prioritized risk factors: low neighborhood attachment and community disorganization; family management; friends engaging in anti-social behavior and early and persistent problem behaviors. Using the campaign name “My Voice Is…”, the campaign will seek to change community member perceptions of Park Hill through an array of different messages. Initial messages targeted to residents, in a universal approach, will seek to address low neighborhood attachment and community disorganization and will include positive normative social statements to promote community connection. Messages will cycle throughout the course of implementation to address the identified risk factors.
Community Wide Social Emotional Learning Language:
To address Early and Persistent Problem Behavior, Park Hill Strong envisioned a common social emotional learning language that would permeate the community, providing neighborhood children with multiple opportunities on a consistent basis to have social emotional competencies reinforced through interactions with many community adults in many different community settings. Children participate in a social emotional learning program through their school, and then the same concepts are reinforced by their parents, afterschool and summer programming, at their place of worship, in their community sports program, at local businesses, the library, and even by members of local law enforcement.
Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) is the program that was chosen by PHS for implementation. Currently, all of the staff from Stedman Elementary, some of the staff from Smith Elementary, the Vickers Boys and Girls Club, Heart and Hand, Kids Above Everything and District 2 Police have been trained in the curriculum. Training for more staff members from these organizations, along with Hallett Elementary, is scheduled for October 2019. Additional training for community partners will follow according to their schedules.