Economies of abundance in lean times: Lessons learned from a thriving and sustainable school-university partnership
Public elementary schools and universities have experienced deep and serial blows to base budgets, momentum, and morale over the course of the still-unfolding economic displacement of recent years. Partnerships between these groups are particularly vulnerable to changing fiscal fortunes, too often leaving work undone and promises left on the table when the money runs out. Salud Familiar en McKinley a community-based and enduring partnership between a neighborhood elementary school and the state university public health students two miles away has found a way to survive, and thrive, despite the financial turmoil of this decade. When our project began six years ago, we made formal commitments to each other, including to stay in partnership even if we were without grants or outside support. Although our organizational contexts have been badly disrupted in recent years due to the state's fiscal problems, we have found a way to grow, thrive, and achieve that is far beyond what we might have done had we enjoyed lavish funding and generous grants. Instead, by tapping into informal economies of abundance, the faculty, students, and families of Salud Familiar build budgets and engage together in ways that allow us to meet our commitments, even when times are tough. Six hidden economies will be described, including unexpected sources of support and leverage for further development. Administrative concerns will be addressed, including accounting, reciprocity, credit, and (sometimes surprising) motivations and capacity for giving. Implications for program planning and community capacity for hope and change will be discussed.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Identify 6 sources of resources for school-based programs associated with a university partnership
Keyword(s): Child Health, Partnerships
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator on this project and Founder of the program Salud Familiar en McKinley
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.