Partner Build Grow: Resources to Sustain Partnerships and Advance Prevention Initiatives


  • Evelyn Frankford Frankford Consulting
  • Rachel Sadlon The George Washington University
  • Olga Acosta Price The George Washington University
  • Linda Sheriff The George Washington University



youth development, school–community partnerships, systems change, prevention, sustainability


Alignment of programs, practices, and policies by practitioners at the state and local levels can create health-promoting environments for all children. Such alignment, guided by principles of prevention science and public health, can enhance school–community partnerships involved with the mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being and positive development of children and youth. The key to success of such prevention approaches is sustaining the work over time. Partner Build Grow, an online Action Guide, supports sustainability through cross-sector collaborations and systems change to create school–community environments that promote equity. Informed by local and national experts along with field experience and application of best practices, Partner Build Grow presents a framework and provides the support to guide schools and communities through a process to build and sustain school–community partnerships. The Action Guide identifies four components critical for sustainability: Building an Action Team, Mapping Assets, Connecting With the Policy Environment, and Building a Communications Plan, and provides practical implementation tools for each area that can be customized for local contexts. Since the August 2015 Action Guide launch, we have tracked Web page views, unique users, registrants, and other analytics to measure engagement. Partner Build Grow presents Web-based resources and tools for local and state cross-sector collaboration to sustain effective practices and systems for positive and healthy youth development.

Author Biographies

Evelyn Frankford, Frankford Consulting

Principal, Frankford Consulting

Senior Advisor, the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, Milken Institute School of Public Health, the George Washington University


Rachel Sadlon, The George Washington University

Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation, the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, Milken Institute School of Public Health, the George Washington University

Olga Acosta Price, The George Washington University

Associate Professor, Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, the George Washington University

Director, the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, Milken Institute School of Public Health, the George Washington University


Linda Sheriff, The George Washington University

Deputy Director, the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, Milken Institute School of Public Health, the George Washington University


Acevedo Garcia, D., Rosenfeld, L. E., McArdle, N., & Osypuk, T. L. (2010). A geography of opportunity framework for child development. In C. Edley, & J. Ruiz de Velasco (Eds.), Changing places: How communities will improve the health of boys of color (pp. 358-406). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Atkins, M. S., Hoagwood, K. E., Kutash, K., & Seidman, E. (2010). Toward the integration of education and mental health in schools. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 37(1-2), 40-47. doi:10.1007/s10488-010-0299-7

Baker, G. R. (2011). The contribution of case study research to knowledge of how to improve quality of care. BMJ Quality & Safety, 20, i30-i35. doi:10.1136/bmjqs.2010.046490

Blank, M. J. (2015). Building sustainable health and education partnerships: Stories from local communities. Journal of School Health, 85(11), 810-816. doi:10.1111/josh.12311

Bronstein, L. R., & Mason, S. E. (2016). School-linked services: Promoting equity for children, families and communities. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Henig, J., Riehl, C., Houston, D., Rebell, M., & Wolff, J. (2016). Collective impact and the new generation of cross-sector collaborations for education: A nationwide scan. New York, NY: Columbia University. Retrieved from

Hoagwood, K. E., Rotheram-Borus, M. J., McCabe, M. A., Counts, N., Belcher, H. M. E., Walker, D. K., & Johnson, K. A. (2018). The interdependence of families, communities, and children’s health: Public investments that strengthen families and communities, and promote children’s healthy development and societal prosperity. (Discussion Paper). Washington, DC: National Academy of Medicine. Retrieved from

National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. (2009). Preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders among young people: Progress and possibilities. Committee on Prevention of Mental Disorders and Substance Abuse Among Children, Youth, and Young Adults: Research Advances and Promising Interventions. M. E. O’Connell, T. Boat, & K. E. Warner (Eds.). Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/12480

Pascoe, J. M., Wood, D. L., Duffee, J. H., & Kuo, A. (2016). Mediators and adverse effects of child poverty in the United States. Pediatrics, 137(4), e1-e17. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-0340

Sacks, V. & Murphey, D. (2018). The prevalence of adverse childhood experiences, nationally, by state, and by race/ethnicity. (Research Brief #2018-03). Bethesda, MD: Child Trends. Retrieved from

Southern Education Foundation. (2015). A new majority: Low income students in the south and nation. (Research Bulletin). Retrieved from

Stroh, D. P. (2015). Systems thinking for social change: A practical guide to solving complex problems, avoiding unintended consequences, and achieving lasting results. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Valli, L., Stefanski, A., & Jacobson, R. (2016). Typologizing school–community partnerships. Urban Education, 51(7), 719-747. doi:10.1177/0042085914549366

Veatch, M., Goldstein, G. P., Sacks, R., Lent, M., & Van Wye, G. (2014). Institution-to-institution mentoring to build capacity in 24 local US health Departments: Best practices and lessons learned. Preventing Chronic Disease, 11, E168.






Program & Practice Articles