LONG VIEW — The Western Piedmont Council of Governments, based in Long View, has received a 2019 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations for the 2019 Catawba Head Start Community Assessment.

The purpose of the 2019 Catawba Head Start Community Assessment is to present the CCS-EHS policy board and staffers with a thorough assessment of the current state of the physical, social and economic welfare of families with very young children in Catawba County, and provide an understanding of factors affecting this population. The assessment includes a variety of maps to illustrate how various forms of hardships are experienced in communities throughout Catawba County.

The assessment also compares changes in the demographic and economic makeup of very young children and their families in Catawba County over the last five years. One goal of the community assessment is to determine geographic areas of Catawba County in which to concentrate outreach and enrollment efforts of the Early Head Start Program.

The assessment makes extensive use of the council’s Geographic Information Systems analysis of various sources of data, such as U.S. Census ACS Estimates 2005-09, 2008-12 and 2013-17, Birth Certificate Data (from NC DHHS SCHS), N.C. Department of Public Instruction school data, CDC, N.C. Department of Public Health, and many others. The results of the community assessment were given to the CCS-EHS board in June 2019.

Early Head Start staffers are already using the data to develop strategies to improve the Early Head Start program. Other nonprofits, local governments, and the council are using the results of the report to complete grant applications to improve the quality of life of young children in the County.

The Catawba County School Board will use the information in the report to analyze kindergarten readiness of their future students. Council staffers complied the data and graphics used in the report. GIS staff members generated over 20 maps for the report using data from a variety of sources. Council staffers also completed the Catawba Early Head Start parent survey that was used in the report. In total, over 75 tables and charts are included in the 100-page report.

NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based membership association of regional development organizations that promote programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery and comprehensive strategies.

The association’s Impact Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of the nation’s regions and local communities.

Award-winning projects were honored during NADO’s 2019 annual Training Conference, held Oct. 19-22 in Reno, Nev.

The 2019 class of award recipients consists of 100 projects from 66 organizations spanning 24 states.

The projects are presented in an interactive “Story Map” developed by NADO and CivicLens that includes project summaries and partners.

The Story Map is available online at www.nado.org/impactawards/.

“The Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Awards program is an opportunity each year for NADO to publicly recognize the important services that regional development organizations deliver to their local communities,” said 2018-19 NADO President Scott Koons, executive director of the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council in Gainesville.

“The projects awarded have made significant impacts on their regions and demonstrate the diversity of programs and resources provided by regional development organizations across the country.”

For more information about the award-winning project, contact Taylor Dellinger, the council’s senior data analyst, at taylor.dellinger@wpcog.org or 828-485-4233 (www.wpcog.org).

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