Best Practices and Exemplary Programs Awards
Typically held on an annual basis, OACAA’s Best Practice Awards have recognized some of the greatest programs in Ohio’s Community Action Network. In partnership with The Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs, nominations have historically been reviewed, scored, and awarded to programs that are not only an outstanding example of helping people and changing lives, but could be replicated across the state.
OACAA recognizes one of the factors that makes Community Action unique, is our agencies’ ability to create programs just as unique as the communities they serve. Because of that, the Best Practices Committee chose to reevaluate the awards process to ensure it remained an accurate representation of our network. The result was the development of two separate recognitions: Exemplary Programs and Best Practices.
Exemplary Programs are anti-poverty initiatives including programs or other agency actions that introduce strong programs or community economic development that will benefit the low-income population. Exemplary Programs support or assist in supporting individuals, families, or both, on their path to self-sufficiency or they prevent people or communities from slipping into poverty as an anti-poverty initiative. Programs nominated do not have to be replicable in other communities. The designation can be awarded to agencies that show outstanding results in innovative and creative programs or initiatives.
Best Practices are replicable operational and management processes that can be adapted for other agencies in the Community Action Network. Examples include fiscal practices, centralized intake processes and more. Nominations will be reviewed throughout the year, recognized on the OACAA website, and will be available to other agencies to adapt to their own programs. This program is still under development and we thank you for your patience as we work to complete this transition.
Nominations for the 2018 Exemplary Program Awards are now open! Nominations will be accepted through
November 26, 2018. December 7, 2018!
Exemplary Program Nomination Preparation, Presented by John Glenn School of Business, July 2017
A special awards ceremony will be held during the 2018 OACAA Winter Legislative Conference, January 30-February 1, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio.
Awardees prior to 2016 were recognized under the previous Best Practices Awards. Beginning in 2016, awardees are recognized with Exemplary Program Awards.
Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland. Friendship Through Reading Program.
The Friendship Through Reading program is building stronger more positive relationships with children, families and police officers through a unique collaboration with Head Start centers and the Cleveland Police department. The program started with Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams reading story books to children on the first day of school at the William Patrick Day Head Start Center. Today the program has expanded to all 14 of the Council’s Head Start centers. Police officers read popular children’s books (If You Take a Mouse to School; Llama Llama Red Pajama) to Head Start students; they answer the children’s questions, ease their concerns about the police, and even discuss law enforcement as a career. Based on the success of the Cleveland program, other agencies across the country are implementing similar programs, and the Council has been invited to regional and national conferences to present the program.
Highland County Community Action Organization. Rural IMPACT, Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive.
The Rural IMPACT program is a collaborative, community-wide safety-net system. This exemplary program is helping Highland County families to earn, keep, and grow the resources and skills necessary for self-sufficiency now and through future generations. The program offers co-located services provided by a diverse group of partner agencies, with a focus on the needs of both children and adults. Multi-generational services include workforce development, post-secondary education, early childhood education and development, health care, and reentry. The Rural IMPACT program is part of a national demonstration program with the US Department of Agriculture, the American Association of Pediatrics, National Community Action Partnership and the Kellogg Foundation. Participating families have shown increased levels of achievement in comparison to their non-participating peers.
Highland County Community Action Organization. Family and Community Navigator Pilot.
The Family and Community Navigator Pilot uses a single point of contact – a Navigator – to work with families to develop family goals and action steps and to coordinate any services needed to move families from crisis to stability. All supportive programming is aligned and braided which is not only strengthening families, but is also creating greater efficiencies in program delivery. Families who have participated in the program have shown increased levels of achievement in comparison to their non-participating peers.
West Ohio Community Action Partnership (formerly Lima-Allen Council on Community Affairs) for Steps-to-Success. ROMA Category One. Launched in 2013, the Build –up Academy prepares young adults for careers in the construction industry. Program participants complete a 10-week training program including life skills, hands-on experience in home construction, and two industry certifications allowing graduates access to apprenticeship programs and ultimately high paying construction jobs. Comprehensive case management is also provided, ensuring individualized support for each student. Since 2014, 94% of graduates have found employment with an average starting salary of $12.77/hr.
Supports to Encourage Low-income Families (SELF) for Build Up Academy. ROMA Category One. Launched in 2013, the Build –up Academy prepares young adults for careers in the construction industry. Program participants complete a 10-week training program including life skills, hands-on experience in home construction, and two industry certifications allowing graduates access to apprenticeship programs and ultimately high paying construction jobs. Comprehensive case management is also provided, ensuring individualized support for each student. Since 2014, 94% of graduates have found employment with an average starting salary of $12.77/hr.
Community Action Organization of Scioto County for Business Resource Network, ROMA Category 4
Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland for Ohio VETS Program, ROMA Goal 4
Ohio Heartland Community Action Commission for Fatherhood Program, ROMA Category 1
Supports to Encourage Low-income Families for Getting Ahead Program, ROMA Category 4
WSOS Community Action Commission Inc. for Juvenile Offender Re-entry Initiative, ROMA Category 1
WSOS Community Action Commission, Ohio VETS Program, ROMA Category 1
Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area for Youth Empowerment Center
Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area for Youth Empowerment Center Community Garden
Hocking, Athens, Perry Community Action for Learn & Work Program
Supports to Encourage Low-income Families for Butler County Microenterprise and Microloan Program
WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc. for 21st Century Learning Centers New Directions After School Program
Community Action Organization of Delaware, Madison & Union Counties for Right on the Money, ROMA Category 1
Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action for Transportation Group, ROMA Category 2
Lifeline for the Empowerment and Development of Consumers, Inc. for Dancing Under the Stars, ROMA Category 5
Ohio Heartland Community Action Commission for Backpack Program, ROMA Category 4
Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families for Middletown Group Workcamps Home Repair Project, ROMA Category 2
Erie Huron Counties Community Action Commission for service in support of Richland County CAC
Community Action Committee of Pike County for Masco Transition Center
CAA of Columbiana County for Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, ROMA Category 4
Cincinnati-Hamilton County for Pre-employment Training, ROMA Category 1
Community Action Partnership of Greater Dayton Area for Hope Café, ROMA Category 1
Community Action Partnership of Greater Dayton Area for Housing Department Foreclosure Prevention Program, , ROMA Categories 1 and 2
Community Action Wayne/Medina for DARE (Develop an Array of Revenue Enthusiastically), ROMA Category 5
Supports to Encourage Low-income Families for 2010 Group Workcamps/HomeRepair Project, , ROMA Category 2
Supports to Encourage Low-income Families for Getting Ahead, ROMA Category 6
WSOS Community Action Commission Inc. for Water Operator Skills for Life Program, ROMA Categories 1 and 3
WSOS Community Action Commission Inc. for Silgan Plastics Transition Center, ROMA Categories 1 and 4
WSOS Community Action Commission Inc. for Tornado Long-term Recovery Project, ROMA Category 4
GMN Tri-County Action Council, Inc. for The L.I.F.E. Program, Roma Category 6
Lima-Allen Council on Community Affairs for Kindergarten Kamp, ROMA Category 5
Ohio Heartland Community Action Commission for United Community Rx Program, ROMA Category 4
Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families for EITC Super Site, ROMA Category 1
Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families for Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program, ROMA Category 3
WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc. for WSOS/TRIPS New Freedom Passenger Care Attendants, ROMA Categories 4 and 5