South Lane Leadership
Linzy Jones, Co-chair
Mary Nisewander, Co-chair
Rachel Nordquist, Coordinator
Our Work in South Lane
South Lane has been at the forefront of 90by30's child abuse efforts since Day One. As the first team to finish its prevention plan and the first to roll out a strategy (the Welcome Baby Box), it is paving the way for other areas of the county. The Welcome Baby Box, modeled after a similar box in Finland with a 75-year history of reducing infant mortality rates, is free to any infant born in South Lane. It contains diapers, clothes, wipes, and other physical necessitites - as well as a guide to community resources available to families. The box itself is a "Smitten Sleep System" that provides a safe, portable place for the baby to sleep, and the program is designed to strengthen social connections between parents and the rest of the community.
South Lane is also one of the five rural regions implementing Roots of Empathy, an evidence-based school-based program that teaches children empathy through interactions with an infant and parent. Since its founding in 1996 by Mary Gordon, Roots of Empathy has expanded from Canada to eleven countries on three continents. An elementary- school classroom is paired with an infant, caregiver, and a volunteer instructor who delivers the ROE curriculum over 27 classroom visits. The infant and parent visit the classroom every three weeks, while the instructor also visits the weeks before and after to prepare and reinforce teachings using a specialized lesson plan. The program is proven to reduce aggression and bullying in students and aims to build the capacity of the next generation for responsible citizenship and responsive parenting.
What else is planned for South Lane? The timeline is ambitious:
The team launched the prevention planning process by collecting data on community attitudes toward child abuse and its prevention. Team members collected 200 community surveys, asking South Lane residents questions like "Do you think your neighborhood watches out for kids?" and "Do you think we can reduce child abuse in this community?" With this information in hand, they "mapped" the assets and gaps in community resources and then turned their attention to filling those gaps and bolstering - not duplicating or reinventing - the current strengths.
A diverse group of South Lane residents came together to select a blend of strategies that specifically addressed the needs of their community. South's choices were different from West Lane's and North Lane's - and we think that's a good thing. These are strategies designed to work for in the immediate communities for which they were chosen.
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