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The focus for the 2016 Partnership grants is on the evaluation of current programming, the importance of which is invaluable. This year the Partnership Grant program gave $82,000- provided by 21 partners who believe in the power of combined giving. – Six organizations received grants to help them strengthen their evaluation process.

Why evaluate and measure impact?

Evaluation can be used to demonstrate that program activities have had a measurable impact on expected outcomes by giving us the ability to track implementation and measure program effectiveness. Simply put, it defines the “success” of a program or organization. We want to evaluate grants and measure impact so that we can turn one success story into 1,000 similar success stories.

We are excited to see the following six awardees succeed in such a way:

Sierra Nevada Journeys (pictured above)
Funding will support SNJ’s evaluation capacity by retaining the services of the Center for Program Evaluation at the University of Nevada-Reno. CPE will assess their current evaluation activities to determine data gaps and identify new data resources to better understand STEM deficiencies and challenges in elementary schools and demonstrate more specifically how SNJ impacts STEM education for students. SNJ plans to develop a three- to five-year evaluation capacity-building plan, analyze participation data, create and impact evaluation dashboard/reporting system, analyze program impact on student success and facilitate data use and date-driven decision-making by staff members.

KNPB Channel 5
Funding will support the evaluation of local content broadcasting on KNPB. This project will look at the effectiveness of past programming and future ideas for content that will engage with viewers of KNPB. KNPB plans to review and categorize 5 years of past data about community impact for local, regional and national shows. They will also work with the Impetus Agency to produce and distribute viewer and member surveys and conduct roundtable discussions to determine what types of content the community finds compelling.

Sierra Arts Foundation
Funding will support sustainability and growth model through direct student evaluation to support arts integration in Washoe County School District. For Arts-Integrated Curriculum to result in deep student understanding in both the art form and the other curriculum area, it requires that teachers engage in professional development to learn about arts standards and how to connect the arts to the curriculum they teach. Sierra Arts will partner with Arts Integrated Solutions to help gauge the effectiveness of its professional development and school partnership strategies by researching academic achievement, student engagement, and teacher effectiveness.

Northern Nevada Literacy Council
Funding will support the holistic program evaluation of NNLC based upon the themes of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, impact, and sustainability. NNLC management will obtain critical feedback and input from its students, instructors, staff and key community stakeholders to determine what is and is not working. This will allow NNLC staff to identify ways to better serve their students and the community as a whole. NNLC plans to partner with an independent consultant with expertise in education and program monitoring/evaluation.

Nevada Discovery Museum
Funding will support the enhancement and redesign of evaluation processes for The Discover’s Field Trip Program, which serves over 16,000 K-8th grade students annually from Washoe County School District. And surrounding areas. The Discovery will evaluate trends in learning within the field trip package, overall teacher satisfaction and perception of value, and student/group attendance measures. The Discovery’s Education Department will also submit current instrumentation strategies to a consultant for review, clarifying usage, effectiveness, and challenges associated with the current evaluation process.

High Sierra Industries
Funding will support the analysis of the existing Career Development Academy’s (CDA) instructional material to determine the impact on long-term employment for people with disabilities. HSI will consult with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst to review four years of program data from the CDA to conduct a factor analysis. This information will be reviewed against post-program data collected from CDA participants, employers, and support networks.

The 2016 Partnership Grants carry reporting requirements. Each grantee will be required to submit two reports; the first in August 2017 describing the outcome of their evaluation efforts, and the second in August 2018 detailing how the grantee has implemented evaluation throughout their organization. These reports will be made available on our website as they are submitted.