Season 2, Episode 14 - Empowering Families and Nurturing Communities: A Closer Look at the Community Partnership for Child Development
Empowering Families and Nurturing Communities: A Closer Look at the Community Partnership for Child Development
This week I sat down with Steven Lewis, the President and CEO of the Community Partnership for Child Development (CPCD) to dive into the impactful work being done in and around El Paso County, Colorado. From personal stories of transformation to the far-reaching scope of the organization's initiatives, the conversation shed light on the profound impact of CPCD in empowering families and nurturing communities.
Background and Mission: Steven Lewis provided a deep dive into his journey and how he came to be associated with CPCD. With over 25 years of experience in Head Start programs and a background in social work, Lewis shared his compelling path towards becoming the President and CEO of CPCD. His experiences across diverse regions in the United States, from urban to rural environments, have uniquely positioned him to lead an organization that serves the neediest and most vulnerable in the community. This rich tapestry of experience has shaped his vision and commitment to nurturing children and families, ensuring they have access to the support and resources needed to thrive.
Community Partnership for Child Development operates with a compelling mission - to serve the neediest, most vulnerable, and under-resourced individuals and families in El Paso County. With a focus on early childhood development, the organization offers Early Head Start, Head Start, and Universal Pre-K programs, catering to children from birth to five years of age. One distinctive feature of CPCD, as highlighted by Lewis, is the holistic approach to family empowerment. By providing support to the entire family unit, including parents, CPCD aims to create prosperity for all, emphasizing the interconnectedness of child and family development.
Transformative Impact: One profound story shared by Lewis showcased the transformative impact of CPCD's programs. A parent, who had previously been homeless and sleeping in a car with her children, found a lifeline through Early Head Start at CPCD. The support and resources provided by CPCD empowered her to secure a job and housing, marking a transformational journey from adversity to stability. This powerful example underscored the profound impact of CPCD's initiatives in enabling families to overcome adversity and build better lives for themselves and their children.
Collaborative Partnerships: CPCD's impactful work extends beyond its direct programs, encompassing collaborative partnerships with school districts, Pikes Peak State College, Catholic Charities, and United Way, among others. The organization's partnership with school districts plays a pivotal role in ensuring that children are kindergarten-ready, equipped with essential social, emotional, and cognitive skills. The strategic alliances formed by CPCD demonstrate a commitment to synergy and strength, benefiting the children and families served by the organization.
Stewardship of Grant Funding: The conversation delved into the responsible stewardship of grant funding, emphasizing the critical role of grant money in supporting essential programs and retaining talent within the organization. Lewis underscored the importance of investing in highly trained professionals to serve the diverse needs of children, highlighting the significant impact of ARPA funding in sustaining and enhancing the behavioral health consultant team at CPCD.
Engagement and Involvement: In discussing ways for listeners to engage with CPCD, Lewis emphasized the value of volunteers and in-kind contributions. By welcoming volunteers to share their expertise and time, CPCD creates an avenue for community members to actively contribute to the organization's mission. Furthermore, Lewis encouraged individuals to reach out to CPCD for services, highlighting the accessibility and the vital support offered to families in need.
Stakeholder Ownership and Transparency: A thought-provoking insight shared by Lewis was the notion of El Paso County taxpayers as stakeholders of CPCD, emphasizing the organization's public, non-profit nature. This perspective reinforces the importance of transparency, accountability, and the alignment of organizational initiatives with the needs and interests of the community.
This insightful conversation with Steven Lewis uncovered the profound impact of the Community Partnership for Child Development in nurturing and uplifting the most vulnerable members of the community. From empowering families to forging strategic partnerships and stewarding grant funding, CPCD's commitment to holistic child and family development is a beacon of hope, catalyzing impactful change in the lives of those it serves. As stakeholders in this collective endeavor, embracing transparency and engaging with CPCD's initiatives creates a pathway for the community to actively contribute to the organization's transformative work.