Fresno Promise Neighborhood targets

the poorest urban zip code in California

Intersected by Hwy 41 & 180 - Just North of Downtown Fresno

Reading and Beyond was awarded a U.S. Department of Education Planning grant in 2012 to collaborate with residents and local agencies to implement what works – a pipeline of evidence-based programs from Womb to Work. Fresno Promise Neighborhoods (FPN) will work with families in this Zone of concentrated poverty to break the cycle of poverty, by building strong, stable families and neighborhoods to make sure children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn, and are successful in school along the continuum from early education through graduation from high school and beyond.

FPN targets the neighborhoods around Lowell, Jefferson, and Webster Elementary Schools and Tehipite Middle School. The median household income is $14,212 and only 18% own their home. 74% identify as Latino, 10% Asian, 9% Anglo and 5% Black. 69% speak a language other than English at home. For residents over age 25, over 66% have not graduated from high school – 41% quit before 9th grade, and only 5% have a college degree. Over 55% rely on walking or the bus. One in five families have at least 6; over one third live in two bedrooms or less. 

Our Approach

Although our Zone faces many obstacles, it also boasts great assets.  Given substantial existing investments in the FPN Zone, it is critical that FPN focus on aligning existing resources to improve student outcomes with a focus on providing proactive supports to children. A Program Oversight Committee will ensure that FPN initiatives will complement – rather than supplant – services and that services further leverage agency resources in order to provide needed services to additional residents. Student/Family Advocates will know families by name and by need, to assess the appropriate level of intervention and work closely with families to design a personalized Achievement Plan, focused on student success and family stability.  FPN staff will also provide comprehensive case management using a Strengthening Families approach. Specific activities include:

  1. Build a strong foundation early in life by promoting language development, a love of learning, healthy eating habits and physical activity. 

  2. Expand effective school strengthening initiatives; work with school staff to identify vulnerable students

  3. Establish strong home-school-community partnerships to ensure youth have the support and guidance they need and to intervene quickly when concerns arise and address barriers to learning

  4. Connect families to community resources; assist families to navigate and access those resources

  5. Develop and expand quality positive out-of-school time activities that support healthy youth development, encourage youth leadership, and create high expectations for success – in school and life

  6. Strengthen college/career connections – start early with an advisor, promote service learning and workforce readiness to build the skills and behaviors necessary for success in college and/or career

  7. Provide parents the tools to  create home environments that make it possible for children to meet academic benchmarks; coach parents on ways to motivate their children and reduce behavior problems

  8. Revitalize the FPN Zone to change the odds for these at risk children

FPN will assess data on our individual and collective efforts to continuously improve the delivery of services and expand effective programs that produce measurable results, to reach more children in the Zone. Our FPN budget request totals just under $6,000,000; our FPN Partners committed a total match of almost $13 million, with 22% derived from private sources.


FPN Zone

Click map to enlarge