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Community Impact: Where We Are Now
Everyone deserves opportunities to have a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.
Community Impact is less about helping one person at a time and more about changing systems to help all of us. We are all connected and interdependent. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, when people are healthy.
In 2007, the Community Impact Team, comprised of representatives from PRO-Muskingum, United Way of MPM, Muskingum County Job & Family Services, the City of Zanesville, the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center, the Muskingum County Library System, Resource Systems, Coburn United Methodist Church, Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department, Muskingum Valley Health Centers, West Muskingum Schools, and the American Red Cross conducted the “What Matters” Survey. This survey asked community members to identify areas and ways in which to make our community a better place to live. Based on the results of the survey, the Community Impact Team deems the building blocks for a good life to be:
Income – Promoting Financial Stability and Independence
Education – Helping Children and Youth Achieve Their Potential
Health care – Improving People’s Health
In 2009, members of the community participated in the I-wheel process, which probed possible outcomes from the three pillars of Income, Education and Healthcare. This process included broad representation from multiple sectors of the community. From this process community indicators were identified, then ranked by the Community Impact Team to identify the intersection of what outcomes are attainable and what outcomes have the most impact. A need for leadership alignment was also identified.
Using these criteria, the group identified the establishment of smoke free zones or corridors throughout the tri-county area due to high county smoking rates as the highest ranking project. A subcommittee of the Community Impact Team has been working towards a Tobacco Free Corridor in downtown Zanesville.
Additional partnerships have been identified, such as the High School Distance Learning Series, the Free Tax Preparation clinics, and the new Lifelong Learning Initiative, which will focus on educational opportunities for all ages.
As the Community Impact Team moves forward with initiatives and programs designed to better our community, it is important to first know where we are now. Our current community indicators stand as the basis for measuring future success. The selected indicators for Muskingum, Perry and Morgan Counties in the areas of Income, Education and Health are: (Click on the title to go to the data)
Income: Population, Homeownership, Household Income, Poverty, Retail Sales per capita, Self-Sufficiency Standard,
Education: Graduation Rates, Ohio Graduation Tests, 3rd Grade Reading, ACT Scores, Education Attainment
Health: Number of Uninsured, Smoking Rates, Alcohol Consumption, Obesity, Leading Causes of Death