Although Fort Worth is a prosperous American city, the Morningside neighborhood, a 2.2 square mile community of about 8,000 residents on the southeast side, has been suffering from high unemployment, violence, substandard health care, and low educational outcomes for years. In fact, the community's crime rate is significantly higher than Fort Worth in every category. Considering that the average income for a family of four is less than $20,000 and 73% of the community's high school students are "at-risk of dropping out," Morningside is troubled. However, after years of being a distressed community in the heart of Fort Worth, Morningside has come together to rebuild the neighborhood. With the help of a planning grant from the Rainwater Charitable Foundation and the Sid Richardson Foundation, the Morningside Children's Partnership (MCP) was formed in 2012 as an expression of the community's commitment to stronger families and a safer and revitalized future. After conversations with residents, students, educators, faith-based leaders, business leaders, and community partners, the community expressed their needs:
- More healthy children prepared to enter kindergarten
- More children who succeed academically and feel safe
- More youth who graduate from high school and successfully complete vocational training or a post-secondary degree
- More families and residents who support the academic success and well-being of the community's children
- More residents engaged in high-quality partnerships and advocating for a safe, healthy, and financially stable community
Morningside Children's Partnership Theory of Change
For a cradle-to-career pathway, the partnership will concentrate on building a culture for success that improves local education and increases parental and community involvement. MCP believes this strategy will lead to higher student outcomes as well as improved health, safety, and financial stability for all.
MCP will effectively raise the achievement level for Morningside's children by integrating a continuum of solutions, without gaps in services, within four strategic components:
Providing mothers and families with high-quality health-care services and accessible education that promotes language and literacy development and increase children's chances for school readiness and early academic success.
Providing students with critical 21st century instruction, along with the tools and supports (in and out of school) they will need to prepare for college and careers.
Strong Family and Community Services
Providing families and residents with opportunities for continuous education, job preparation, and improving nutrition and health.
MCP's overarching goals to be achieved by 2018 are:
- 90% or more of MCP children entering kindergarten will be school ready.
- 70% or more of MCP children will succeed academically.
- 75% or more of MCP youth will graduate from high school and successfully complete vocational training or progress to a post-secondary degree.
- 90% or more of MCP families and residents will support the academic success and well-being of the community's children.
- 90% or more of MCP residents will be engaged in high-quality partnerships and advocating for a safe, healthy, and financially stable community.