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CCE Chemung Awarded ARC Grant for Poverty Stoplight Initiative


ELMIRA – Wednesday, Andrew Fagan, the Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chemung County (CCE Chemung), announced the Chemung County Poverty Coalition was the recipient of $40,586 through the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant for the Poverty Stoplight Initiative. The goals of the project include implementing the Natural Leaders Initiative (NLI) and the Poverty Stoplight tool in the City of Elmira.

“We are excited to be able to bring these successful programs to Chemung County. NLI will help individuals strengthen their leadership skills, while the Poverty Stoplight will help people identify their specific needs and develop a personalized family plan to address them, while helping the greater community identify what resources are working and what could be improved," explained Andy Fagan.

The Natural Leaders Initiative (NLI) is a program that works to boost emerging leaders. It supports people to increase confidence and skills, to help them put their ideas into action, to connect them to others, and to learn about formal leadership opportunities, as well as grow as community leaders. Tompkins County has been implementing NIL for the past 10 years.

 As part of the Poverty Stoplight Initiative, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chemung County and the Chemung County Poverty Reduction Coalition will be offering NLI –Elmira. The program will begin in early 2018 and run no later than June 30, 2018. The group will meet for eight two-hour sessions. The sessions will be held at a time most convenient for participants. CCE Chemung will provide meals and can assist with childcare and transportation, if needed.   NLI – Elmira is FREE. CCE Chemung will be accepting nominations for NLI-Elmira. Deadline is by noon, January 16, 2018.

The Poverty Stoplight is a metric and, at the same time, a methodology that helps families measure their level of poverty and identify as well as create customized strategies to solve their specific deprivations. Dr. Martin Burt, Director of the Fundacion Paraguya, developed the Poverty Stoplight as a means to help reduce poverty in Paraguay. Based on the success there, it is now used in more than 25 countries. The United Nations recognizes the Poverty Stoplight as an example of a successful poverty reduction program. The Elmira project will be one of only three in the United States, which include New Orleans and Washington, DC. Dr. Burt has agreed to work with the CCE Chemung and the Chemung County Poverty Coalition to implement it in Elmira. The Coalition members have been working on the indicators for the metric over the past several months and will be finalizing the Elmira version in the next month. They will then begin the task of implementing the Poverty Stoplight with the help of the NLI-Elmira graduates.

For more information contact Andrew Fagan or Carol Houssock at 607-734-445. 

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County Executive Thomas J. Santulli