Springfield Promise Neighborhood (SPN) is a placed-based and asset-based poverty alleviation project. It works with residents in a 110 block area in Springfield Ohio, which is the attendance zone of Lincoln Elementary School. The area provides a home to over 3800 neighbors and all of the 406 students attend Lincoln Elementary School, a K – 6 primary school and one of 10 elementary schools within the Springfield City School District. Lincoln serves the most economically and socially challenged student populations in the District with 100% of the students meeting federal poverty guidelines for free and reduced lunch. The students reside in a highly mobile and under-resourced community lacking playgrounds, day care facilities, and the kind of enrichment and civic associations that mark a vibrant place to live and raise a family.
The premise of Springfield Promise Neighborhood’s work is that the long-term goal of poverty alleviation depends upon the academic and social success of children such as the ones who attend Lincoln. This, in turn, requires that children benefit in their development, particularly in their earliest years, from the thriving schools and thriving communities that support their growth. SPN is dedicated to the success of the children, a success measured by their ability to succeed in school and eventually graduate from high school with the skills necessary to get a good paying job or pursue higher education opportunities.
SPN builds upon and enhances this theory of change — a Thriving Neighborhood and a Thriving School drive Youth Success — and we believe this is the key to breaking the claim of generational poverty on the lives of children and the vitality of their families and neighborhoods.
The SPN project is advanced through work in four interrelated, strategic areas: A) School Readiness, B) Community and Family Engagement, C) Youth Development, and D) Responsive Schools. SPN is resident-led and facilitated by a full-time Project Director, a Neighborhood Coordinator, and AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers. Each strategic area has its own specific goal and activities. Each strategic area is advised and directed by an advisory team that includes residents and area providers.