Several faculty and students from the HDFS department will be working on a large, multi-organization project called the East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood (ELPN), which has received a total of $24.5 million in federal funding over a five-year period.
Promise Neighborhoods are a relatively new federal program from the U.S. Department of Education. According to the Promise Neighborhood website:
The vision of the program is that all children and youth growing up in Promise Neighborhoods have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career. The purpose of Promise Neighborhoods is to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in our most distressed communities, and to transform those communities…
Interestingly, most of the recipients of Promise Neighborhood funding are in large cities such as Boston, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Lubbock thus stands out as a small-city recipient.
According to an article in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, “East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood is a collaboration of the Lubbock Independent School District, Texas Tech, the Tech Health Sciences Center and multiple community partners, including Covenant Health System, South Plains Food Bank, United Supermarkets and United Way of Lubbock.”
Dr. Scott Ridley, the Dean of the TTU College of Education, was the lead author of the grant proposal, as described in this university news release. In addition to Education and HDFS, other Texas Tech colleges and departments participating in ELPN include Nutritional Sciences; Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences; Visual and Performing Arts; and Nursing (from the Health Sciences Center).
ELPN personnel have also set up their own local website for the project. As shown on this part of the website, the project will provide services and conduct evaluation research in many areas of life. These areas (with associated HDFS faculty listed in parentheses) include: Early Learning and Literacy (Dr. Mike McCarty, Associate Professor, and Dr. Stephanie Shine, Early Childhood Program Director); Family, Community, and Adult Education (Dr. Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Associate Professor); Health and Wellness; and College and Career Readiness.
A detailed report on the ELPN project from the U.S. Department of Education is available here. This report lists Dr. Michael O’Boyle, HDFS Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Human Sciences, as heading up the Early Learning Services portion of the ELPN project.
Dr. Shine, along with our graduate students Tobi Ruwase, Viviana Gomez, and Andrea Parker, recently attended a Juneteenth celebration here in town to publicize the ELPN and seek families willing to participate in the various programs. Following are some pictures from the event (on which you may click to enlarge). In the first photo, Tobi (left) stands by the ELPN information booth.
These next photos show Viviana jumping right into the early-literacy training, reading with area kids.
On a related note, undergraduate Colleen Williams won first place in the Human Sciences division of Texas Tech’s annual Undergraduate Research Conference in May (see photo below). Her poster, entitled “Parent and Teacher Attitudes at Early Head Start,” drew from another of our department’s community-enrichment programs. Colleen worked with Dr. Shine, Dr. Yvonne Caldera, and grad student Debbie Neckles.