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

Best Babies Zones

Fort Worth, TX

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.

Early Learning Alliance

East Harlem, NY

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.

LSA Family Health


Somerville, MA

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

Shape Up Somerville

Browning, MT

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.

Blackfeet Reservation

Salem, OR

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

Fostering Hope Initiative

New Haven, CT

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. 

Mental Health Outreach for Mothers

Philadelphia, PA

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

Witnesses to Hunger

Philadelphia, PA

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

City of Philadelphia 

Lincoln, NE

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

Lincoln Nebraska

State of Michigan

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

Michigan Department of HHS

Building community capacity, transforming systems, and fostering innovation so that all children thrive. Powered by Vital Village Network at Boston Medical Center.

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