Exemplary Programs Awards
An Exemplary Program is a designation awarded to programs operated within Ohio’s Community Action Network that have been expertly evaluated and determined to be innovative and creative anti-poverty programs and initiatives. Each awardee is recognized due to the successful development and implementation of the program or initiative, and for demonstrating outstanding results and outcomes.
Formerly known as OACAA’s Best Practice Awards, in 2015 the awards program transitioned to Exemplary Programs under the guidance of The Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Beginning with the 2019 Exemplary Program Nominations, the Association partnered with Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs to direct the program and evaluations.
We recognize one of the factors that make Community Action a unique network, is our agencies’ ability to create programs just as unique as the communities they serve. Because of that, Exemplary Programs do not need to be replicable in other communities.
See our list below of previous Exemplary Program Award winners. Examples of exemplary programs or actions include, but are not limited to:
- Job creation
- Specific job training
- Various work, family and individual supports
- Support for crisis situations or emergency services
- Help for recently incarcerated
- Services for those suffering from addiction, etc.
Nominations are currently closed. Please check back for 2021 nomination announcements.
Submissions are scored by independent reviewers under the direction of Ohio University per the published scoring rubric. Awardees are recognized during the annual Winter Legislative Conference.
- Your agency must be an OACAA member in good standing
- The program must have been in existence for enough time to document outcomes and results Typically, this is at least one year
- The program must have been carried out during the prescribed calendar year
- Programs must fall within the ROMA Individual and Family Domains
- Nominations must be signed by the Executive Director and Board Chair
- Submit multiple programs and initiatives operated at the same member agency in separate applications
Awardees prior to 2016 were recognized under the previous Best Practices Awards. Beginning in 2016, awardees are recognized with Exemplary Program Awards.
OIC of Clark County, New Directions
Ross County Community Action Commission, Community Action Responds, Engages, and Supports Recover (CARES) Program
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