Neighborhood Partners in Action (NPA) Initiatives Since Fall 2012
Canoga Park Elementary School: UniHealth Canoga Park Improvement Grant in collaboration with the Northridge Hospital: Dr. Terry Sweeting and Dr. Michelle Barrack-Gardner. The grant focuses on providing physical activity lessons and nutrition information classroom sessions to the students at Canoga Park Elementary School. Eleven CSUN students assist the faculty members in providing the hands on learning opportunities to children in 50 classrooms at the elementary school. The grant also utilizes agencies in the Canoga Park community to work with Columbus Middle School and Canoga Park High School which are feeder schools. Sessions for students and parents include information about nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices and promoting academic achievement.
CCRC: Healthy Families, Healthy Communities: Dr. Annette Besnilian. Dr. Besnilian has developed and implemented a program promoting nutrition and physical activity for families in the afternoon and evenings.
Child Development Institute (CDI):
Process/Planning/Impact Assessment: CSUN faculty expertise and collaboration: Dr. David Boyns. Dr. Boyns works with five Sociology/Psychology students engaged in an evaluation research project to assess the overall satisfaction of the clients of the Early Learning Center and documenting stories of success. Further, Dr. Boyns is developing an overall evaluation protocol to determine the degree of organizational objective attainment for the Child Development Institute in Canoga Park.
Social Work Interns: Dr. Jennifer Henningfield. Dr. Henningfield works with CDI and other various nonprofit agencies in Canoga Park in placing needed Social Work Interns to assist the agencies in meeting client needs. CSUN students gain valuable experience from their work in Canoga Park.
Financial Literacy Programs: Dr. Linda Bradley. Dr. Bradley with the assistance of several of her FCS students has developed and implemented a multi-generational family focused financial education program that began in the fall of 2013 with a series of parent and child workshops that informs parents on ways to incorporate teaching their children about money through play while reinforcing cultural beliefs and values. Plans are in progress to provide financial literacy workshops focusing on parents as the client target group. Further planning is underway in organizing an annual financial services fair involving Canoga Park community professionals.
Focus groups on dental health needs for children and parental understanding of dental health: Dr. Terri Lisagor, Dr. Sloane Burke. Drs. Lisagor and Burke collaborated with CDI in developing focus groups of parents from CDI to assess their oral health knowledge and practices. Information gather was to be used by UCLA to guide the creation of dental health curriculum they were working on.
Collaborative Community Parenting Program: Joyce Marie Brusasco, M.S. Prof. Brusasco developed and piloted a CSUN Collaborative Parenting Program for CDI. Six students from the Departments of Family and Consumer Sciences and Child and Adolescent Development worked with Prof. Brusasco in the development of this pilot program. Formal funding is required to implement this program on an on-going basis.
Child Development Internships: Dr. David Wakefield. The Department of Child and Adolescent Development regularly place undergraduate interns at CDI, providing a variety of needed services including curriculum development and play space facilitation/supervision.
Sustainability Assessment: Dr. Jong Eum Kim. Dr. Kim and her colleagues from Family and Consumer Sciences use CDI as a field site for their undergraduate students to conduct Sustainability Assessments. These assessments provide CDI with insights.
Nutrition Education Program with Head Start families: Drs. Lisagor and Burke have partnered with CDI and the Head Start Program by providing undergraduate interns who offer healthy eating and nutrition informational workshops to parents whose children utilize the CDI facility.
Healthy Nutrition and Cooking Classes for Children: Dr. Annette Besnilian. Dr. Besnilian along with 3 graduate students have developed a curriculum for CDI that provides cooking and nutrition classes for the children who visit CDI. To date this program has reached over 60 children at CDI.
Healthy Families, Healthy Communities: Dr. Annette Besnilian. Dr. Besnilian has developed and implemented a program promoting nutrition and physical activity for families in the afternoon and evenings.
Summer Youth Scholarship Work Program: Professor Tom Seifert. Professor Seifert has placed a non-profit organization management intern to assist CDI in the development of a Summer Youth Scholarship Program that will be collaboration with CDI and the LA Mayor’s office. A good deal of community development work will be involved in this internship experience that launched spring 2014.
Advisory Board Manual Revision: Professor Tom Seifert. Professor Seifert placed a non-profit organization management intern to assist CDI in the revision of its Advisory Board manual, focusing on the legal, policy and operations materials update and developing an electronic copy of the manual spring 2014.
Columbus Middle School:
Back to School Night: Dr. Craig Finney. These events were used to introduce parents and students to CSUN’s presence in Canoga Park and recruit potential students to CSUN.
UniHealth/Northridge Hospital Canoga Park Improvement Zone Initiative in collaboration with Northridge Hospital: Dr. Terri Lisagor, and Dr. Annette Besnilian, Dr. Terry Sweeting, Dr. Michelle Barrack-Gardner, Professor Ritamarie Little. Drs. Lisagor, Besnilian, Sweeting, Barrack-Gardner and Professor Little, and The CSUN Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing among other departments on the CSUN campus and their students engaged in this community wide collaborative facilitated by UniHealth and Northridge Hospital. The Community Health Fair held on March 27, 2014 at Columbus Middle School is part of the hospital’s Canoga Park Health Improvement Zone Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to strengthen the health, academic, and social supports at four low-performing schools in the primarily Latino low-income community of Canoga Park. The health fair will provide health screenings, nutrition and fitness information and activities, emphasize the practice of good health habits, and introduce families to local community organizations, and available resources.
Coutin School: Professor Alex Ojeda, Dr. Lori Campbell, Professor Doug Kaback, Professor Tim Szczepanski, Dr. Nat Martin. This multidisciplinary group (Sociology, Recreation and Tourism Management, Associated Students, Theatre, and Office of Community Engagement) is providing Coutin Continuation School with mentoring and tutoring through the Mosaic Program; as well as High Risk Adventure Recreation programs to foster team building and mentoring. CSUN faculty and students will be engaged in delivering this program to Coutin School.
Food Pantry Student Learning Students: Dr. Annette Besnilian. Dr. Besnilian partners with the Guadalupe Center, through CSUN’s Community Engagement Office, as a field site for her courses in nutrition (Department of Family and Consumer Sciences) providing hands-on learning opportunities for the CSUN students.
Thanksgiving Fundraiser Student Learning Students: Dr. Annette Besnilian. Family and Consumer Sciences’ students along with Honor Society Kappa Omicron Nu collect canned foods for the Center at Thanksgiving time
Hart Elementary School:
Back to School Night: Dr. Craig Finney Dr. Craig Finney. These events were used to introduce parents and students to CSUN’s presence in Canoga Park and recruit future potential students to CSUN.
After the Bell Program Partnership: Professor Doug Kaback, Dr. Craig Finney and the CSUN Athletics Program. Professor Kaback (Office of Community Engagement), CSUN Athletics Program and Dr. Finney have teamed up to partner with the LAUSD After the Bell Program to provide enrichment to the excellent program offered to Hart Elementary through the After the Bell Program. Members of the CSUN Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams engage the K-5 year olds in this after school program. While acting as role models and mentors, the team members participate in recreation and sports activities with the students at Hart. Further, the team members work with the Hart students to introduce new recreation/sport skills t and/or hone skills they currently have.
Unihealth Canoga Park Improvement Grant in collaboration with Northridge Hospital: Dr. Terry Sweeting and Dr. Michelle Barrack-Gardner. The grant focuses on providing physical activity lessons and nutrition information classroom sessions to the students at Hart Street. Elementary School in Canoga Park. Eleven CSUN students assist the faculty members in providing the hands on learning opportunities to children in 25 classrooms at the elementary school. The grant also utilizes agencies in the Canoga Park community to work with Columbus Middle School and Canoga Park High School which are feeder schools. Sessions for students and parents include information about nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices and promoting academic achievement.
Nutrition/ Dietetic Parent Education Classes: Dr. Besnilian. Dr. Besnilian and 6 Family and Consumer Sciences’ nutrition students have developed and implemented parent education classed for Hart Elementary School, and to date have reached over 60 parents.
LAUSD: Social Work Interns: Dr. Jennifer Henningfield. Dr. Henningfield works closely with the Los Angeles Unified School District for the placement of Social Worker interns across the School District including locations in Canoga Park.
RUTH YouthBuild (High School): Dr. Connie White. Dr. White is working with the faculty at YouthBuild High School to establish strategic means to address the literacy challenges many of the students face while working toward their High School Diploma. Dr. Nathan Martin and Professor Tim Szczepanski are engaged in a collaboration process with the program director to develop a strategic plan to enhance the leadership development aspects of the curriculum at YouthBuild utilizing Outdoor Adventure Recreation Experiences with a fall 2014 implementation date. This project will incorporate CSUN faculty and students in the implementation process.
VFW of Canoga Park: Veteran Theatre Project: Professor Doug Kaback. Professor Kaback and his students have an on-going relationship with the VFW of Canoga Park. As part of an interactive theatre process, student veterans and non-veteran students visit World War II, Korea, and Vietnam veterans at the VFW Post 2805 in Canoga Park. Creating an inter-generational dialogue building awareness of the challenges veterans face after their military service ends, students interview veterans as part of an oral history project. The program also utilizes improvisation, script reading, and a process known as Theatre of the Oppressed that culminates in original performances to deepen community understanding of veteran’s issues.
West Valley Boys and Girls Club:
Dietetic Interns: Dr. Annette Besnilian. Dr. Besnilian’s nutrition students develop and implement curriculum focusing on nutrition and dietetics for middle and high school students that participate in the West Valley Boys and Girls Club and their many campus sites in the west San Fernando Valley.
Math and Science Tutors: Doug Johnson, Neida Salazar, Craig Finney. In collaboration with the Special Projects Office in the Michael D. Eisner College of Education paid CSUN math and science student tutors have been provided the Boys and Girls Club for their after-school programs at Cleveland and Chatsworth High School.
Sustainability Assessment: Dr. JongEum Kim. Dr. Kim and her colleagues from Family and Consumer Sciences use CDI as a field site for their undergraduate students to conduct Sustainability Assessments. These assessments provide the boys & girls club with insights.
WIC: Community Nutrition: Dr. Annette Besnilian. Dr. Besnilian has trained 8 CSUN students to work within the Canoga Park WIC organization to provide Community Nutrition classes for that community and its members.