The national thought leadership of the “Two Generation” model came to Sarasota two weeks ago for the Two Gen Summit. Hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, sponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and the brainchild of Foundation VP, John Annis, the Summit highlighted the important work being done in our community by a myriad of nonprofit organizations.
The Two Generation model (aka “2Gen”) brings a dual focus to the value of education as an antidote to the cycle of poverty. It places equal emphasis on the needs of both the child and the parent.
Research has established that it’s not enough to teach young children to read at their grade level. Without the support and participation of a parent, inspiring and lifting the child to new heights, success stories are often short-lived. And when we remove economic barriers for the parents (including critical needs like housing, job training, transportation, and child care), we allow families to move beyond generational poverty.
More and more nonprofits are jumping on the Two Gen bandwagon, employing this two-pronged approach that delivers powerful results by prioritizing both parents and children.
It’s gratifying that this focus on Two Gen work is a true community effort. Jon Thaxton of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF) and William Russell of the Sarasota Housing Authority played key roles in the Summit as members of a panel on affordable housing. In addition to the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the GCCF, the Patterson Foundation, and the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation are all funding Two Gen work in a coordinated effort to conquer the cycle of poverty in our community.
Each of us has a responsibility to help others who are less fortunate, and we can all make a difference. Get involved, and give back. Volunteer at the Alta Vista Eagle Academy, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Salvation Army, the Visible Men Academy, or one of the many other organizations helping to reduce poverty where we live by using a two-generation approach.
Dan Weiss, founder and President of Counterpart CFO, leads a team of flexible, part-time CFO’s serving businesses and nonprofits. To read more from Dan, follow him on LinkedIn or subscribe to his blog at www.counterpartCFO.com. To learn more about the Two Gen approach, visit http://ascend.aspeninstitute.org.