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  Free To Grow
  Mailman School
  of Public Health
  Columbia University
  722 West 168th Street,
  8th Floor
  New York, NY 10032

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NOTE: as of April 17, 2007, the Free to Grow program has closed.
image image image family Partners community
Welcome to our Community page. Here you will find resources and strategies that researchers and practitioners across the nation have identified to strengthen neighborhoods and promote substance-free communities. You can learn how to involve residents in assessing risk and protective factors in their neighborhoods, develop local leaders, support community action, and utilize formal and informal policy to change local norms and regulations governing alcohol and drug use and abuse.

Community assessment and leadership development have long been hallmarks of Head Start. While these strategies have guided the work of local Head Start programs, Free To Grow has broadened and intensified their application expanding their focus "beyond the walls" of Head Start to the larger community in which young children and their families reside.

Since a basic premise of Free To Grow is that improving the health and well-being of both families and communities is key to promoting substance-free communities and preventing child abuse and neglect, this page should be read along with our Family page.

Click on any one of the strategy or resource pages to learn more.

Community Assessment

Community Awareness

Environmental and Policy Change

Leadership Development


copyright 2008 Free To Grow

Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.