Washington University in St. Louis has announced a $1.1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in support of an initiative to develop school models for African-American students that better serve their physical and emotional as well as educational needs, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The grant will enable the university's For the Sake of All initiative, which studies health disparities and inequities among African-Americans, to study schools in the St. Louis and Normandy school districts as a first step in developing the models. Through the initiative, researchers hope to find a way to more effectively leverage community resources in responding to students' health needs in school. For example, some St. Louis schools receive donations and services from nonprofits, churches, and corporate partners, but because the assistance comes from many sources that haven't coordinated their efforts, those efforts often result in redundant or uneven service delivery.
"This is a unique opportunity to work with our local education partners and their many supporters to develop a healthy schools implementation model that could be replicated in other schools both locally and nationally," said For the Sake of All director Jason Purnell. "So many diverse organizations want to help students be healthy and succeed in school, but often the systems aren’t in place to fully integrate those programs and services."