City, schools, tribe partner up to seek federal grant
Several local entities have partnered together in seeking a federal grant that could amount to $30 million over five years for use in the Corning area.
"If we receive the grant, it would be used to improve the educational and developmental outcome of children from cradle to college," said City Councilman Tony Cardenas, a member of the Everett Freeman Promise Neighborhood Initiative's Leadership Team.
The team is lead by the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and consists of the Corning, Corning Union Elementary School District, Corning Union High School District, Tehama County Department of Education, Shasta College, Tehama County Probation Department, Tehama County Health Services Agency, Seed Ministries,and the Center for Evaluation and Research.
The target "neighborhood" of the initiative's focus includes Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians tribal lands and Corning.
The partnership states this area has one of the highest rates of poverty, unemployment and crime in the state, that all schools in the area have been designated as "low performing," and all schools are in program improvement through the state's Department of Educ tion.
The City Council endorsed of the project's memorandum of understanding and its six core beliefs related to its own integrity, community input, the well-being of children as a first priority, school academics, and accessing reliable data to make informed decisions.
The team has already successfully applied for a $500,000 grant specifically for building and planning the initiative for submission to US Department of Education. The partnership was one of 10 communities nationwide to receive this grant.
This will be accomplished in steps, according to the team.
The first step is an in-depth need assessment and planning process which will lead to a "continuum of solutions."
Steps two and three include prioritization and development of a mutual accountability plan.
"Once needs, gaps, and barriers to service are clearly qualified, collaborators identify model programs and best practices using the program model tool," state initiative documents.
The goal of the initiative is to "build a seamless continuum of solutions that builds upon local resources to create sustainable systems change."
During the planning stage, the partnership team will develop Promise Neighbor indicators which will guide the entire process.
Once completed and submitted to the US Department of Education, the Everett Freeman Promise Neighborhood Initiative will go through a competitive grant process.
The initiative was named after former Paskenta tribal leader Everett Freeman, who was known for his dedication to children, education and his community. Freeman served as the tribe's chairman from 1994 until his death in 2010.