Free to Grow Special Report: New Britain, Connecticut

Free to Grow: Building Strength in America's Communities

This report by the Free to Grow National Program Office at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University outlines how Free to Grow was integrated into the local Head Start program.

This is the story of Free To Grow in New Britain—how the program worked and what effect it has had to date. It is in many ways an unfinished story because the effort continues, as do the problems it was designed to combat.

Ultimately, though, it is a hopeful story about how old and new immigrants, emerging and established political leaders, and local agencies can all hold each other accountable and work collaboratively to spark changes that none could have dreamed of on their own.

And it is a story of that overused but sometimes apt concept of empowerment—of residents of a neighborhood working together to reverse the neighborhood’s slide and to enlist the help of powerful allies to do so.