During 2014, the North Plainfield Safe Routes to School Committee was a new grantee to the Shaping-NJ Partnership family. As a new grantee, we have been very grateful for all the assistance offered by NJDOH staffers and through the partnerships with AmericaWalks and YMCA.
One of the great things that really separates ShapingNJ from other grantor-grantee partnerships is the high level of program and social media technical support offered throughout the entire process. Unlike other grant funders who may simply request applications, approve work, issue checks and then wait for results – the staff at ShapingNJ is always looking for ways to help grantees identify issues, solve problems, and offer encouragement through difficult implementation stages.
Additionally, ShapingNJ routinely holds monthly conference calls with grantees to check-in on our progress, highlight milestones/successes, and to assist with a wide variety of problem solving. ShapingNJ’s commitment to making sure that all these diverse programs at various non-profits throughout the state are working effectively is truly remarkable and a real testament to the entire leadership team. But, something even more amazing occurred recently, a Mid-course Feedback Evaluation was done to make sure that everything could be done was being done to improve the process. This once again, this demonstrated a deep commitment to quality control, listening to feedback, and continual program improvement.
One issue raised in the evaluation was funding and resources. This is something that every program needs and something that we will need going forward to sustain and grow this fabulous program. I am sure that if you have read any of the the posts here, you recognize that communities all over our great state need assistance with nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention. I would like to challenge you to think about what you can do to help: think up a new program, identify new funding resources, or to even consider donating your time to a local program to make it even more successful. You can contact ShapingNJ at: http://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/shapingnj/about/contact/