During the NOW strategic planning process, we selected 11 Bright Spot Communities. After a national scan, these communities were selected for their innovative strategies to align early childhood systems and build community capacity to promote child wellbeing. Vital Village visited selected sites to learn about these local initiatives. Read more below about these bright spots, their models and approaches, and key lessons learned from their work.

Oakland, CA

Best Babies Zones

Best Babies Zone is a multi-city effort through UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Alameda County Public Health Department, and Building Blocks Collaborative.

Fort Worth, TX

Early Learning Alliance

The Early Learning Alliance is a working group that includes over 50 diverse organizations and individuals focused on aligning efforts so that all children succeed.

East Harlem, NY

LSA Family Health


The mission of LSA Family Health Services is to support and serve vulnerable people with a historic mission of caring for people who are ill in their homes.

Somerville, MA

Shape Up Somerville

Shape Up Somerville began in 2002 as an academic-community partnership to prevent obesity in first through third graders through environmental change.

Browning, MT

Blackfeet Reservation

The Blackfeet Food Access and Sustainability team began in 2015 to increase awareness of and work together to reduce hunger within the Blackfeet Nation Reservation.

Salem, OR

Fostering Hope Initiative

The Fostering Hope Initiative is a neighborhood based, collective impact initiative designed to promote the positive development of children, strengthen families and build community.

New Haven, CT

Mental Health Outreach for Mothers

MOMS aims to improve children’s wellbeing and ability to reach their full potential, by developing a community-wide and accessible system that supports maternal health and wellbeing. 

Philadelphia, PA

Witnesses to Hunger

Witnesses to Hunger recruits, trains, and empowers families experiencing hunger to advocate for policy and system changes at the local, state, and national level.

Philadelphia, PA

City of Philadelphia 

In May of 2015, a ballot initiative to create a Philadelphia Universal Pre-K Commission passed with overwhelming support.

Lincoln, NE

Lincoln Nebraska

Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department is responsible for the public health of both Lincoln, Nebraska and the entire county of Lancaster County, Nebraska.

State of Michigan

Michigan Department of HHS

The Cardiovascular Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity Section works to address childhood obesity using continuous process improvement.

Vital Village is a network of residents and organizations committed to maximizing child, family, and community well-being. Vital Village is based at Boston Medical Center.  

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