Locally-focused Work: Pueblo
Pueblo is one of four communities that the Foundation is working with as part of our locally-focused work, which complements our traditional grantmaking. A local focus on specific communities allows us to build relationships, learn and support long-term efforts that emphasize community-informed, collaborative solutions to health barriers. Why? Because when ideas are generated at a local level, they are more likely to reflect the community’s needs and create lasting change.
So what does our work look like in Pueblo?
Pueblo has its own unique assets and barriers when it comes to health. For us, working locally in this way starts with listening and learning more about what that really means. The program officer working in this community is central to this effort. Program staff spend time getting to know each community, looking for opportunities to build the capacity of local institutions, improve policies and systems, expand local leadership and stimulate broad civic engagement.
Your program officer is charged with partnering in the community to harness this energy so that the city of Pueblo is a place where everyone who calls it home has health in reach. Their work takes shape through conversations, networking and meetings with a range of community members.
Over the past year, the Foundation has partnered with institutions like the Center for Creative Leadership, which works with individuals to customize and develop their unique leadership style, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all kids have a childhood filled with the balanced and active play they need to thrive. Through both partnerships, local leaders are building their skills and capacity to have greater impact, and new spaces in the community for children to safely play are being created.
During a recent series of events, we had the chance to hear directly from community members in Pueblo. We gathered information and feedback throughout the set of events that position us to work collaboratively while strategizing towards a healthier Pueblo.
If you have ideas on how to create a healthier community or questions about the Foundation, please contact Chris Smith, senior program officer or call him directly at 303-953-3661.
Upcoming Opportunities and Recent News in Pueblo
KaBOOM! Playground Builds
On Saturday, Oct. 13, the City of Pueblo's Donley Park was transformed into a kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground in a matter of hours.Thanks to all involved for bringing safe, accessible play to more than 900 kids near Pueblo's Donley Park and surrounding communities! You can read more about the project here.
Save the date for Saturday, Nov. 3, when the City of Pueblo's Leidigh Park will be transformed into a kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground in a single day. Similar to Donley Park, The City of Pueblo, Parks and Recreation Department determined that Leidigh Park is also in dire need of replacement. The new park will provide a safe, accessible place to play for more than 1,500 kids in the surrounding communities. Register as a volunteer today.
Thanks to all who are working to build safe and welcoming spaces for kids to play.
Other events and convening
The Pueblo Chieftain | Dec. 4 | Pueblo D60 to enter online education field
This fall, Pueblo City Schools (D60) will add a new component to its educational offerings. An online program. Hoping to capture a share of the growing number of students leaving traditional education for alternative options, Pueblo City Schools Online will serve as a complement to Paragon Learning Center, a blended learning institution. Richard Mestas, hired by the district to implement and oversee PCS Online, recently presented the board with an initial update on the process that will culminate with PCS Online’s rollout in August. Read more.
The Pueblo Chieftain | Nov. 21 | Addressing the bottleneck at CMHIP
An unfavorable court ruling isn’t always a bad thing. At least, it might not be for the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. A few days ago, a federal judge in Denver ruled that the Colorado Department of Human Services, which oversees CMHIP, wasn’t performing mental competency evaluations for jail inmates at a fast enough rate. Magistrate Judge Nina Wang said she’ll make a decision, possibly later this month, on the steps needed to bring the department into compliance with the law. Read more.