In support of its mission to improve health and promote wellness for all ages, Culpeper Wellness Foundation has contracted with Partnerships for Strategic Impact to conduct an objective and inclusive assessment of the recreational interests, needs, and desires (including activities as well as physical spaces) of middle and high school youth in Culpeper. Partnerships for Strategic Impact is based in Charlottesville and supports advanced evidence-based and data-driven decision making and planning. Dr. Maryfrances Porter, founder of Partnerships for Strategic Impact, will facilitate this collaborative endeavor, with completion planned for September.

An advisory committee composed of representatives of 11 community organizations and three students is meeting monthly to provide oversight and guidance throughout the process. This group will review all  the data collected to ensure the final recommendations are aligned with the strengths and resources of the community.

Several youth focus groups will be held in June and July to inform the development of interests surveys to be taken by 1000-1500 6th-12th grade students later this year, and adults around the community who work with youth (including teachers, police, coaches, and youth ministers).

The overall process will include developing a “State of Our Youth” dashboard including five years of data on local high school graduation rates, SOL pass rates, juvenile arrests and offenses, and more – to both inform understanding of the needs of local youth and to benchmark progress in ensuring positive outcomes for youth in future partnership efforts. The Culpeper County School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, funded by the Foundation in 2017, will also provide data relevant to the process.

“The results of this assessment process will guide the Culpeper Wellness Foundation’s future investments in youth support. The data also will be available for use by other organizations to inform our community’s efforts around planning for youth,” said Shari Landry, foundation president. “The involvement of so many local organizations in the assessment process highlights our community’s commitment to serving its younger residents.”