Center For Family Services Looks to Bring Change to Neighborhood

Tuesday, July 13, 2010
CAMDEN, NJ- Center For Family Services (CFS) is one step closer to bringing a brighter future to the children and families of the Cooper Lanning neighborhood. On July 13, CFS and state officials signed an agreement to begin a yearlong planning mission aimed at implementing the Harlem Children’s Zone national education model.
The model, created in the early 1990’s and has expanded from a one-block pilot program to nearly 100 blocks, focuses on the belief that children and families must be assisted on multiple fronts in order to survive and thrive.
This yearlong mission was sparked by the award of a $29,000 planning grant to CFS through the New Jersey Department of Education for a Promise Communities Strategic Planning Pilot Project. The request was in partnership with the Cooper Lanning Camden Promise Team (CLCPT), which includes the Office of the Mayor of Camden City, the principal of Lanning Square Elementary School, the Office of the Camden Schools’ Superintendent, Cooper Hospital, Rowan University, Rutgers University, and other agencies. 
Over the next year, CFS will use money from the planning grant to conduct focus groups, surveys, and other assessments to figure out the needs of the neighborhood.
CFS is using this opportunity to partner with Rowan University for the federal Promise Neighborhood’s Planning Grant. A total of 399 communities recently applied for up to $500,000 in “Promise Neighborhood” funding. Winners are expected to be announced in September.
It is the hope of CFS, Rowan University and the entire CLCPT that one day, Cooper Lanning Elementary School, will be overflowing with vibrant, self sufficient, healthy, well educated young men and women and surrounded by a safe, secure neighborhood.