The Robeson County Health Department will coordinate community program implementation through a subcontract with NC-ACE. As the oldest rural health department in the nation, the RC Health Department has a well-established reputation for providing high-quality services to those in need and for implementing innovative community health promotion strategies. The Department’s most recent award honoree was Health Director William J. Smith, IV – 2006 recipient of the Ron Levine Legacy Award. This prestigious award given by the NC Division of Public Health honors individuals whose life work has resulted in significant and positive improvements in NC’s public health system. With funding from the NC-ACE subcontract, the RC Health Department will hire public health or social work staff to coordinate and implement our youth violence prevention initiative. Rev. Mac Legerton and implementation staff will facilitate community data collection, participate in a Community Violence Prevention Board, and deliver targeted and universal youth violence prevention programs.
The Public Schools of Robeson County (PSRC) is another important community partner. PSRC is a county wide public school system with some 24,000 students enrolled in 43 schools. PSRC is one of the largest school systems in North Carolina. Such a large enrollment requires the services of approximately 2,100 certified employees including teachers, principals, assistant principals and counselors along with about 1,100 classified employees to serve students. The 11 middle schools and 6 high schools (plus the Career Center, Indian Education Center, Early College High School, and Information Technology High School) in PSRC are most important to the proposed adolescent youth violence prevention initiative.
There are a number of other Robeson County community partners who support the goals of NC-ACE. These community partners include: the Healing Lodge (a mental health and substance use treatment agency); the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department; the City of Lumberton’s Police Department; Southeastern Family Violence Center; Communities in Schools; Judge Stanley Carmichael, District Court Judge; the Guardian Ad Litem program; Robeson County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council; Robeson County NAACP; Rockingham District Native American Cooperative Ministries; NC House Representative Garland Pierce; Robeson Partnership for Children; the Rural School and Community Trust, the Lumbee Tribe; the Lumbee Regional Development Association; and, Southeastern Mental Health.
Representatives from many of these community agencies will become members of the NC-ACE’s Community Violence Prevention Board. These partners will help to collect appropriate data, examine risk and asset profiles, match evidenced-based prevention programs to community needs, and support the comprehensive evaluation of the initiative. This full integration of community partners dramatically increases the probability of community commitment and sustainability even beyond the funding period of support (Holden, Messeri, et al., 2004, Lerner & Thompson, 2002).
Local Data Collectors: NCACE-YVP is fortunate to have the assistance of local data collectors Betsy Redman, Miriam Locklear, Beth Jacobs-Hunt, Kelly Lampkin, Autumn Locklear, Shaun Barefoot, and Marina Sevdalis.