Grants offer exciting new resources and opportunities to Extension programs and the communities in which they take place. Sustainability must be prioritized in the program design and development of the grant-funded project or it runs the risk of garnering resentment and disappointment within communities. The Extension Center for Youth Development Children, Youth and Families At Risk (CYFAR) team recently successfully completed a five-year sustainable communities project (2008-2013)* The CYFAR team established eight youth programs for middle school aged youth and their parents or guardians of diverse backgrounds living in low income households. The youth and adults were from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds.
By using Mancini and Marek‘s (2004) program theory of sustainability, the poster presentation will demonstrate the ways in which the Minnesota CYFAR project successfully sustained the benefits of the project past the life-cycle of the grant while making the argument that the securement of more funds is not the sole means of achieving sustainability. Relying on program observation, the program logic model and a review of program records, the poster will highlight programmatic examples of Mancini and Marek‘s seven elements of sustainability. While the eight CYFAR youth programs do not operate exactly as they did during the funding cycle, the team‘s implementation of Mancini and Marek‘s program theory enabled the benefits to the community to be sustained. (Reference :Mancini, J.A. & Marek, L.I. (2004). Sustaining community-based programs for families: Conceptualization and measurement. Family Relations. 53 (4), 339-347.)
Tzenis, Joanna; Skuza, Jennifer.
Rethinking Program Sustainability: A Look at the Minnesota Center for Youth Development’s Children Youth and Families At Risk Project.
University of Minnesota Extension.
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