Community and Economic Development
Community and Economic Development is essential because it provides a foundation and builds to improve the quality of life for our citizens. It creates and shapes healthy and diverse communities by empowering individuals and groups of people with skills they need to effect change in their community. The process of community members coming together to learn, share, discuss issues, take collective action, and generate solutions results in stronger and more resilient communities and citizens.
During 2017, we became involved with several community organizations and activities benefitting children and families. In addition, representatives of our organization facilitated a strategic planning exercise with former graduates of the Lincoln School and other community members. We met over several days and conducted a community assessment and a SWOT Analysis. The results of the work were discussed, and several recommendations were implemented in our goals at the Lincoln Enrichment Center.
Community beautification is a key aspect of community and economic development and important to make lasting changes and improve quality of life. A visually appealing community increases property values, attracts businesses, and improves the neighborhood’s image. It also provides children with hope, healthy options, and a safe place to play, learn, and grow. Transforming the conditions that affect community and economic development requires a broad collaborative partnership among several key players. Partners play a vital role in community and economic development and neighborhood improvement. Through these creative partnerships, we have explored opportunities, maximized resources, and discovered new talents for all involved. From improving outreach efforts to enhancing programs and services, there are many ways that alliances have helped us improve the community with efficacy, impact, and sustainability.
Community Service is also essential to a vibrant community. Our students, families, and volunteers understand and embrace the idea of giving back and helping others in need. We emphasize the importance of service through our actions, curriculum, and undertaking volunteer activities – everything from collecting litter and trash, to planting flowers, to delivering lunches to the homebound, to cleaning and mowing yards, cutting trees, and so much more. To date, adult volunteers from the Lincoln Enrichment Center have mowed yards, cut trees, and removed debris from the properties of several home-bound senior citizens. On a regular basis, our older students have picked up trash and litter in the surrounding neighborhood and community, raising awareness and instilling community pride.
In addition, Mrs. Rebecca Crocker, a local resident and a dedicated program volunteer, spearheaded a fundraising initiative to demolish a vacant, unsafe, deteriorated house, located across the street from the Lincoln Enrichment Center. Mrs. Crocker and members of the First Chrisitan Church gracious donated to this beautification effort. We are grateful to Mrs. Crocker and all who contributed.