Collaboration of Community Organizations to Apply for Child Obesity Grant
UL Lafayette, Lafayette Parish School System, Lafayette Consolidated Government, and Kiwanis Among Partners
November 21, 2011
LAFAYETTE, La. – More than 20 community organizations have expressed interest in applying for a grant designed to support Louisiana communities in helping children and families lead healthier lives.
With Louisiana ranking high in adult and child obesity (sixth and fourth in the nation, respectively), community partners saw the need to come together to provide strength in numbers for support and implementation of the grant.
Among the organizations interested in the grant are the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (including the Picard Center), the Lafayette Parish School System, Lafayette Consolidated Government, and the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette.
The grant, Blue Cross Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana, will award between $250,000 to $1 million for a one to three-year funding period. The awards must be matched dollar-for-dollar by resources identified by the applicant, with at least half of the matching support being cash. The initial letter of intent is due January 30, 2012, but the Picard Center is working hard to get a solid proposal prepared in a timely manner. The research center has already hosted one open meeting in November for interested organizations and will hold a second meeting in early December.
“The community development department is proud to be a part of this effort that complements some of the work we are already doing. By working together through collaboration, we are much stronger, and in the end, we will be able to better serve our community,” said Ben Berthelot, director of community development for Lafayette Consolidated Government.
“We are creating a paradigm shift in the way Lafayette collaborates and cooperates, designs and delivers solutions and services to keep our population healthy,” said Kevin Domingue, member of the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette.
The grant partners are currently working on a needs assessment for Lafayette Parish and looking for programmatic partners, according to Dr. Holly Howat of the Picard Center. The Picard Center is serving as facilitator of the collaboration and grant work organizer.
For more information on the Blue Cross Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana, visit http://ourhomelouisiana.org/programs/challenge/.
ABOUT THE PICARD CENTER
The Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning is a research center comprised of a multidisciplinary group of evaluation and research professionals who focus on early childhood, K-12 education, school-based health, poverty’s effects on families, and lifelong learning. As an integral part of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s research mission, the Center provides high-quality, rigorous evaluations of programs that are implemented to address learning from birth through adulthood. Applied research is continually conducted in all areas of education, health, and well-being to ensure a prosperous and healthy future for all of Louisiana's children.