East5ide Unified, a BUILD Health Challenge community in Denver, is working to level the playing field for young children, so they can succeed in school and life. East5ide Unified recently reached an important milestone in their work: finalizing an action plan that will guide their efforts to eliminate health disparities for children in five Denver neighborhoods – Cole, Clayton, Whittier, Five Points, and Skyland – by the time they enter kindergarten.
To achieve this, the East5ide Unified leadership team developed an action plan and hosted three community events this year for the East Denver community to provide input on the plan. These meetings resulted in more than 200 members from the community working with the leadership team to develop approaches for improving prenatal and child health, active parental engagement in early childhood, community safety, and more.
The final action plan consists of four main strategies to bring the proposal to life:
- Cultivate a strong sense of resilience in community members.
- Enhance relationships throughout the communities to make citizens feel connected and establish a sense of trust.
- Promote a sense of ownership within the community, so residents of East Denver are invested in the success of the program.
- Utilize a holistic, multi-dimensional approach in schools and homes to ensure the program is incorporating diverse ideas.
These action points are rooted in East5ide Unified’s core values of inclusivity and community-led action. East5ide Unified is currently working on creating programs and initiatives to implement the action plan.
The leadership team of East5ide Unified comprises family and community leaders who currently live, work, play or pray in the five East Denver communities. The Civic Canopy, Diversity Dynamics, Denver Public Health, Denver Health and Hospitals, and nonprofit organizations have provided strategic direction and coordination as the community developed its action plan.
BUILD Health is very proud to be working with East5ide Unified on this inspiring and impactful project. We’re excited to see their action plan in motion and the lives of children and families in the East Denver community transform for the better.