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Learn First Act Later


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This workshop will take students on a trip across the city to discuss best practices in learning from one's community to make a more significant impact in it. Presenters will overview an approach taken in learning from the local Spring Hill community, assessing their needs, and working with them to combat a lack of fresh produce with the creation of a community garden. By learning from successes and failures of those involved, students will be better able to analyze what they can do as a Bonner Program and university to make positive change.

Published in: Education
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Learn First Act Later

  1. 1. Learn First, Act Later Maxwell Droznin Cristian Cuevas Ben Staskowski Center for Community Engagement
  2. 2. Learning Objectives ! Understand why it is important to learn from the community before attempting to aid it. ! Familiarize yourself with tools and practices for effective community engagement. ! Analyze examples of capacity building and resource developing projects 

  3. 3. Why Learn?
  4. 4. COMMUNICATION ❖Learning the history, the needs, and the different factors that effect a community, allows you to better understand where that community is coming from.
  5. 5. Stronger Cultural Competency ➢Caring about where someone comes from culturally allows one to better understand their perspective on situations and life, while showing that community you respect them ➢Community members will understand their history and culture more than we ever will
  6. 6. COMPASSION !Learning about issues helps you care for them
  7. 7. BEWARE BENEFICIENT PATERNALISM DISCUSS: Have you ever experienced this? Was it due to you, or someone else?
  8. 8. TRANSITION: Time for Real Examples in DeLand Let’s dive into a little bit of History and Research!
  9. 9. Spring Hill (Southwest DeLand) ! Very low income, functionally segregated community ! 2016 Needs Assessment found that 89% of those that identify as Spring Hill residents are African American ! Originally developed as community for low-wage citrus pickers in the late 1800s, early 1900s ! Was formally segregated during Jim Crow age and never fully incorporated into the city of DeLand ! 60% remains unincorporated today ! Poor sidewalk system ! Limited street lighting ! No interconnected plumbing system ! Most septic tanks are old and poorly maintained ! Back up is an issue ! Limited businesses in the core geographical area, and even less food markets (food desert) ! Many more issues that will be touched on in research slides
  10. 10. It is Essential to Know a Community’s Strengths Here you can find who cares, and why they care.
  11. 11. Strong Identity: A Love for Culture and History ➢Long-term residents firmly push for progress while maintaining the cultural identity of the area ➢African American Museum of the Arts is a great example of this
  12. 12. The Power of Expression ➢Another great example can be found at this Boys and Girls Club Mural ➢Many famous historical figures can be found here including: the founder of the Chisolm Center, musicians, veterans, pastors, police officers, and more
  13. 13. Research: Identifying Needs Quantitatively DISCUSS: ! Who determines what a community needs to improve? ! How can one identify what the needs of a community are? ! Is research the best way to identify needs? ! What are some examples from your Bonner Programs or universities?
  14. 14. Breaking Ground: The 2016 Spring Hill Needs Assessment ▪ Nobody knows the needs of Spring Hill better than its residents ▪ Needs Assessment was conducted by Dr. Asal Johnson and several Stetson students ▪ What concerns can we see from just the adjacent figure?
  15. 15. Needs Assessment Results ! 90.5% of Spring Hill respondents were most concerned about a lack of access to fresh produce ! 89.6% did not feel like they had adequate access to exercise options ! Residents also expressed concern regarding the lack of street lights and the completeness of sidewalks (71.6% and 67.0% respectively) ! Top Health Concerns ! High blood pressure (73.9%) ! Diabetes (71.6%) ! HIV/AIDS (68.2%) ! Heart disease (67.0%) ! What factors could contribute to these health statistics?
  16. 16. Additional Research: The 2018 Walkability Assessment ▪ Spearheaded by Maxwell Droznin this past May ▪ Aims to look further into the needs expressed in the previous assessment ▪ What problems can a lack of walkability cause in a community?
  17. 17. Walkability Assessment Results Only 41.2% of streets in Spring Hill have a continuous sidewalk on at least one side of the road 43.9% have some degree of trip hazard present 18.1% have clearly marked crosswalks 22.0% have adequate street lighting 1.6% have painted bike paths
  18. 18. What’s the Point of Research? ! We learn what the community needs and in doing so, create: ! Improved Intervention ! Resource Development ! Capacity Building ! These can only be achieved if the research is followed by action ! What ways can you take what you’ve learned and apply it at your site? In your community?
  19. 19. Community Garden
  20. 20. Partners
  21. 21. Purpose of Community Garden ! What’s the point? ! Poor diet and physical inactivity is the second ACTUAL leading cause of death in the US ! Increase access to fresh produce ! Increase access to and quality of nutritional education for both youth and adults ! Increase number of community green spaces ! Create safe space for community to come together and socialize ! Increase interest in home gardening, more community gardens, and purchasing local produce ! 30 minutes of gardening per week results in lower BMI, higher self esteem, and lower stress when compared to those who garden less
  22. 22. Artisan Alley Farmers Market ! Why weren’t Spring Hill residents attending? ! Thought primary barrier was food access (no SNAP) ! Eliminates food desert status of north Spring Hill Fridays from 6pm-9pm ! 3 months later… ! Nobody from Spring Hill shopping at the market using SNAP ! Functionally, nothing changed yet for north Spring Hill ! Increasing focus on education ! IFAS cooking demos ! Health Department outreach ! Volusia County School outreach ! Only when we brought this up to the community gardeners did things begin to change ! Social norming among church groups, community organizations, etc. ! Dialogue with community members, having allies within the community ! Importance of understanding ALL barriers ! Constantly challenging what you think you know ! Due to assessment, we know that shuttle transportation is a major need ! Sidewalk connectivity is a major need
  23. 23. Partners
  24. 24. SafeRoutes to School Grant ! Multimillion dollar grant program ! Redevelopment of walking + biking infrastructure around schools ! Largest cluster of impediments around Starke Elementary ! Used Walkability Assessment to build coalition of partners to apply for grant ! Started with Walk to School Day this past Friday
  25. 25. Partners