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

NOTE: as of April 17, 2007, the Free to Grow program has closed.

Free to Grow

Welcome to Free To Grow:
Head Start Partnerships to Promote Substance-free Communities

Free To Grow (FTG) is a national demonstration program testing an innovative approach to two closely related public health problems – substance abuse and child abuse. Free To Grow identifies the best ideas and practices in the field of prevention in general, and substance abuse and child abuse prevention in particular, and applies them to the crucial early years. Unlike many early childhood prevention programs, Free To Grow is not a curricular intervention. Instead, Free To Grow brings together broad based community partners to support locally tailored, integrated approaches to strengthening families and communities. Program strategies target the young child’s overall environment, not the child.

This website is designed for Free To Grow staff and grantees, professionals and students in the field of prevention, parents, members of the media and policy makers-and all those interested in the well-being of young children. In the WHO WE ARE page, you can find information on the initiative's history, mission and on-going national evaluation and program demonstration. In the FAMILY, COMMUNITY and PARTNERS pages, you can find strategies and resources that incorporate best practices in prevention that Free To Grow is adapting to strengthen families and neighborhoods at its grantee sites throughout the country. In the RESEARCH page, you can access the research upon which these strategies are based and in the POLICY page, you can learn about relevant trends that affect the work of Free To Grow. In the NEWSROOM, you can read about Free To Grow sites in the news, and developments in the area of prevention that are making headlines

The site provides many opportunities for visitors to participate. You can weigh in with your opinion by responding to the Survey question on the homepage; or you can Ask a Question or Share Your Own Story.

Featured News

>>  Free To Read
In 2003, responding to the early childhood field's intense policy focus on reading readiness, the Free To Grow National Program Office asked Rima Shore, a noted writer in the field, to help us explore the relationship between Free To Grow's efforts in family and community strengthening and literacy outcomes. But why were we, a public health focused prevention initiative, interested in contributing to the ongoing national conversation about reading readiness?

>>  Immigrant Rights to Public Benefits

copyright 2008 Free To Grow

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FTG Survey
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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.