8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252
Towson University is a metropolitan university with outreach programs in Cherry Hill. The Cherry Hill Learning Zone Initiative was initiated in 2005 in collaboration with the community, reflecting that academic success and economic development were intertwined; it has now expanded to include other academic and non-academic programs.Grant Project Information
Partners in Academic and Life Success (PALS)
The Partners in Academic and Life Success (PALS) project seeks to provide participants with academic enrichment, career exposure and exploration, mentoring by university students and community volunteers, individualized goal-setting and monitoring with family input, and opportunities to learn and embrace healthy behaviors and lifestyles. The goal of the project is to encourage and reinforce healthy life choices and build resiliency against the development of unhealthy and harmful behaviors as students transition to middle school. The project will provide opportunities for growth to a cohort of 30 fifth grade African-American students in the Cherry Hill community of Baltimore City. Cherry Hill is located in one of the most southernmost neighborhoods in Baltimore city, and was developed as a planned community for African-American veterans returning from World War II. Subsequently, 97 percentof the population are African American, 70 percent of the households are comprised of families and 54 percent of the families with children are female-headed, single-parent families. Program activities will be offered three afternoons weekly, one to two Saturdays per month, with a three-week summer program. Strategies, practices and interventions include group health education sessions with individual goal-setting and portfolio/log journal take away, parent-individual and/or group sessions, as well as written materials and online resources, and the development of partnerships to offer routine physical activity that is both individual and team oriented. Expected outcomes include increased knowledge and awareness of relationship between food choice, exercise routine, obesity and obesity-related conditions, increased plans and policies that support structured team and open individual physical activity at community recreation center and increased knowledge and awareness of range of work opportunities and career options. Performance measures include number of Healthy People 2010 objectives addressing mental health, chronic disease and healthy lifestyle, number of unduplicated individuals participating in OMH-funded activities per year addressing mental health, chronic disease and healthy lifestyle and number of strategic planning documents developed addressing mental health, chronic disease and lifestyle. The evaluation is structured to demonstrate alignment between identified problems and goals, as well as the use of evidence-based practices. Both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods will be implemented.
OMH objective(s) toward which the project's results most contribute:
- Increased awareness, education, & outreach to address racial/ethnic minority health & health disparities problems