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Classroom & Community Working Together

Published August 1, 2012

Research and Evaluation Assistance for Change (REACH) Collaborative is a statewide initiative with two mutually supportive goals: 1) to provide program evaluation assistance to local youth prevention programs at no coast and 2) to offer authentic community-based learning experiences for college students.

In 2011, REACH was developed in response to the need for sustainability of a grant to the RAND Corporation and Maine Communities for Children and Youth.  This grant, Assets Getting to Outcomes, provided program evaluation assistance to twelve prevention coalitions in Maine within a developmental assets framework.  REACH continues this evaluation assistance through faculty-supervised community-based projects conducted by college students in higher education institutions across the state.

With a one-year grant from the University of New England, REACH as engaged faculty from six colleges and universities in Maine who have directed approximately 53 students in 21 evaluation projects in the communities of Portland, Bucksport, Skowhegan, Ellsworth, Old Orchard Beach, Waterville, Augusta, and York.  Evaluation areas include toxic stress, kindergarten readiness, juvenile delinquency, health promotion in a middle school, youth employment, child abuse prevention, parenting education, obesity in elementary students, and the use of Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey to assist high school faculty in planning prevention activities.  Through the efforts of faculty and students across the state, REACH has contributed an estimated $100,000 in pro-bono services in evaluation assistance to local prevention programs through providing rich community engaged learning experiences for Maine college students.

For more information about REACH, visit http://www.une.edu/ccph/reach/.