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New Initiative Takes 'Two-Generation' Approach to Boosting Rural, Tribal Communities

Up to 10 rural and tribal communities will receive technical support from the Obama Administration to roll out programs that impact adults and children through a new "two-generation" initiative.

The Rural Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive, or IMPACT Demonstration program, will help communities collaborate with an array of federal agencies to provide workforce development, access to high-quality early childhood programs, and boost parental engagement in communities. Communities will receive technical support in several aspects including help in determining the location of services, creating measurement systems, and using technology, as well as assistance from an AmeriCorps VISTA member.

The program is an extension of the "Rural Impact" campaign, which was announced by the White House Rural Council in February with the goal to improve upward mobility and the quality of life for rural and tribal children. Native youths have been a focus of the Obama Administration in the past year. In April, the U.S. Department of Education announced grant funding for up to seven tribal communities to identify barriers in improving life for Native youth. President Obama's FY 2016 budget proposal requested a total of $20.8 billion for federal programs that serve tribes, including $53 million to expand a program for Native youth. This year, several listening tours have been held to observe conditions in tribal communities.

A 2014 report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation lauded the 'two-generation' approach and urged communities to launch programs that help both parents and children, such as job-training programs that are aware of child-care needs or systems that automatically enroll children in state health insurance if they are also eligible for food stamps.

According to an email from the U.S. Department of Education, the rural and tribal grantees will be announced in September and will begin a planning phase in October. 

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