CONTACT: DEANNA JAMES, PRESIDENT
(TEL) 340.773.9898, (EMAIL) DJAMES@STXFOUNDATION.ORG
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 13, 2020
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, February 2020 – St. Croix Foundation for Community Development has been tapped by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a national philanthropy focused on child well-being, to lead the KIDS COUNT initiative in the U.S. Virgin Islands. KIDS COUNT, a national network of non-profits, foundations, and consortiums, includes members from all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Launched by the Casey Foundation in 1990, it is seen as a means of providing critical data about child wellbeing at the federal, state and local levels that will lead to better-informed policies and decision-making nationally and in each state, the district and territories.
KIDS COUNT Network grantees receive an annual grant award to support the collection of local data related to child well-being and are tasked with disseminating their findings publicly through a local Data Book. Network partners also implement other formats for communication that are focused on advocacy and action. Geared toward the needs of their local communities, these strategies and tools are designed to influence public policy in ways that positively impact the lives of children and families.
The KIDS COUNT initiative annually produces a national Data Book comprised of data from across the entire Network, and also develops additional data products — including the KIDS COUNT Data Center — with help from local partners. Over time, the Casey Foundation has strengthened its platform on the use of data by including a more focused approach toward advocacy, recognizing that the data is necessary, but without a strong emphasis on advocacy, by itself, it is insufficient as a strategic tool that can shift public policy.
The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands formerly implemented the KIDS COUNT initiative for the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to Casey Foundation senior policy associate Karina Jimenez Lewis, “KIDS COUNT and U.S. Virgin Islanders have benefitted greatly from the stewardship and service to the KIDS COUNT initiative from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. We know that providing children and families with the resources, tools and information they need is an ongoing and central part of CFVI’s work and that the Kids Count work will continue to be enhanced by their expertise and experience.”
Prior to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Lewis noted that the Casey Foundation became aware of the work happening at St. Croix Foundation to create a Non-Profit Consortium (NPC) and could see the synergy with Casey’s approach. “The NPC is a unique and emerging structure with core tenets that align very well with our outcomes in the KIDS COUNT theory of change: improved local alliances, aligned stakeholders from multiple sectors, and strengthened organizational capacity. While the work is still in its early stages of development, we believe it has tremendous potential for creating a powerful platform for advocacy and action across the U.S. Virgin Islands,” she said.
St. Croix Foundation for Community Development is a place-based, hybrid operating foundation in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Founded nearly 30 years ago in the wake of Hurricane Hugo, SCF has been dedicated to the issue of equity and holistic, community-rooted development, and has directed laser focus and resources on highly strategic grant-making, direct services, and community building. In the summer of 2016, in demonstration of the Foundation’s commitment to a more holistic approach to community development, SCF launched its Nonprofit Consortium. A dynamic collaboration comprising staff and board members of over 40 local nonprofits, the Consortium of civic partners is committed to working together to strengthen operations, build its collective capacity and amass peoplepower and advocacy around four distinct sectors: Arts & Culture, Health & Human Services, Youth &Education, and Built a& Natural Environs.
St. Croix Foundation wishes to thank the Annie E. Casey Foundation and its many local partners from the public, private and civic sectors for their partnership and commitment to children and families in the Virgin Islands.
Questions about the initiative should be directed to President Deanna James of St. Croix Foundation at 340.773.9898.
For more information on St. Croix Foundation’s work, please visit www.stxfoundation.org or phone 340.773.9898.