Mission and Goals
Southern Oregon Success weaves together the talent, expertise, and resources of the entire community to promote the health, academic, and life success of our children, youth, and families.
SORS envisions a community in which
- children, youth, and their families are supported and successful at home, in school, and their community;
- children are healthy and ready for kindergarten;
- youth graduate from high school and college ready for success in work, life, and community.
While Southern Oregon is one of the emerging regions in the state, it has its challenges—particularly for children and youth. Young people in Jackson/Josephine counties do worse than others in the State measured by teen pregnancy, child abuse/neglect, depression and suicidal tendencies, substance abuse, connection to foster care, childhood poverty, food insecurity, Free & Reduced Lunch eligibility, and teen unemployment. Children are less likely to enroll in early education, students are more likely to be homeless or be referred to Juvenile Justice and less likely to graduate. Residents list mental health and drug abuse as the leading risk factors to a healthy community. The number of youth visiting an emergency room because of a mental health crisis has grown by more than 50% since 2008. Oregon Health Plan patients in Jackson/Josephine counties rank extremely high in asthma, chemical dependency, diabetes, obesity, and tobacco use.
Recognizing the overwhelming nature of these issues, regional leaders initiated Southern Oregon Success in 2012 to improve outcomes for young people in the region. They recognized that years of personal and family trauma touched multiple systems and called for collective action, realizing that no one entity could address these complex issues alone, and a collective impact framework was necessary to achieve meaningful outcomes.
Since 2012, Southern Oregon Success has built organizational participation by aligning with other regional efforts, including College and Career for All, Jefferson Regional Health Alliance, Rogue Workforce Partnership, Southern Oregon Early Learning Hub, and the Southern Oregon Regional Health Equity Coalition, who are represented on the Steering Committee. Steering Committee members represent literally dozens of linked regional collaborative efforts.
As this work continues, we are aware of the need to further develop our collective governance structure and build Trauma Informed Practices (Self-Healing Communities), equity, and community engagement principles as connective tissue across all we do.
Working Across an Age Continuum
Southern Oregon Success is organized around an age continuum: Family Health/Heathy Beginnings, Early Learning, Youth Development, and College and Career for All.
Family Health/Heathy Beginnings (Pre-Conception)
Regional pre-conception work is led by the Joint Jackson and Josephine County Perinatal Task Force. The mission of the Southern Oregon Perinatal Task Force is to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women, infants, and young children by empowering women to make healthier choices for themselves and their babies, before, during and after pregnancy. One of its signature accomplishments has been the Jackson/Josephine County Preconception Health campaign which promotes the One Key Question pregnancy intention screening, leading to a dramatic increase of 76% in Long Acting Reversible Contraception. The two key projects of the Perinatal Task Force are:
One Key Question: Southern Oregon Perinatal Task Force endorses Pregnancy Intention Screening, using the One Key Question: “Would you like to become pregnant in the next year?” Whether the answer is Yes, I’m OK either way, Unsure, or No, by routinely asking women this question, providers can ensure that a greater proportion of pregnancies are wanted, planned, and as healthy as possible.
Preconception Health Project: The purpose of the Preconception Health Project is to decrease unintended pregnancies, and to improve the health of women of childbearing age, thus improving pregnancy outcomes. Interventions are aimed at both the health systems and community levels. The Task Force is overseeing implementation of clinical preconception health preventive services, and conducting a community-wide Preconception Health Campaign.
Early Learning (0-6)
Early learning is led by the Southern Oregon Early Learning Hub, through Southern Oregon Early Learning Services (SOELS). One of its significant accomplishments this year was Kindergarten Launch, which increased early kindergarten enrollment and enabled more time to support children and their families to successfully transition to school.
The goals of the Early Learn Hub are:
- The early childhood system is aligned, coordinated, and family centered.
- Children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
- Families are healthy, stable, and attached.
Youth Development Work Group (6-17)
The Youth Development Work Group supports youth ages 6-17 by identifying and addressing barriers young people face to succeeding academically and in life. The Youth Development Work Group is committed to bringing collective impact to what is often a competitive environment in service to breaking down barriers and filling gaps impacting youth achievement. The newly formed Youth Development Work Group focus is on building community-school partnerships, and strengthening the capacity and influence of the youth development sector.
College and Career for All (18-24)
The purpose of College and Career for All is to create a learner-focused ecosystem of four mutually reinforcing programs: Dual Credit, Career Related Learning Experiences, Career Technical Education, and STEM Hub. Collectively, these programs create experiences and pathways to benefit students, teachers, and industries in our regional community. CC4A serves formal and informal educational organizations in Josephine, Jackson, and Klamath counties, and includes 13 school districts with 8 percent of the state’s school-aged population.
College and Career for All (CC4A) strengthens transitions from high school to college and career, supported by robust partnership of K-12 districts, community and four-year colleges, and workforce development. This collective effort provides an overarching framework intended to engage and prepare students for success through high school graduation and beyond.
Key Goals are to:
- Provide the full range of students (PK-20) with STEM/CTE/Career-Related Learning pathways and experiences that will enhance their knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward STEM
- Provide pre-service and in-service educators with STEM/CTE/CRLE learning experiences that will improve their content knowledge, teaching abilities, and attitudes about STEM
- Increase the diversity (racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic, geographic) of students and teachers involved in STEM/CTE/CRLE pathways and activities
- Use a collaborative network of formal and informal education organizations, community groups, and business and industry partners to build STEM/CTE/CRLE experiences and skills that will bolster STEM-related businesses and industries in the southern Oregon region