Wellmark Foundation Grant
to Support Sexual Health Education Program in Waterloo
July 8, 2008
(Des Moines, Iowa) – Communities
in Schools of Cedar Valley, Inc. in Waterloo received an $88,974
two-year grant from The Wellmark Foundation to enhance a successful
school-based sexual health education program.
Community Health Education is designed to prevent
teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs),
and to increase self esteem among youth ages 12-19 years,
with a specific focus on African American girls, says Joni
Spencer, Together for Youth coordinator. The program will
expand the Together for Youth’s (TYF) Health Education
programming beyond local schools to agencies and other community
groups that serve youth in the area.
“The project will educate youth about a variety of
sexual health topics, with the goal of reducing the number
of teen pregnancies and STIs in the county,” says Spencer.
According to Spencer, in the past few years there has been
a strong correlation between the increase of Together for
Youth’s Health Education programming and the decline
of teen births in Black Hawk County. “We want to continue
to build upon the success of the Together for Youth Health
Education school-based programming by reaching even more middle
and high school aged youth outside of the school day.”
Topics will include abstinence, contraception, healthy relationships,
STIs, parental communication about sexuality, and sexual consent.
Strategies will include delivery of 350 general sessions on
sexual health issues in local schools and youth serving agencies,
development of a Youth of Color Coalition, and implementation
of a summer program for African American girls offered at
Allen Women’s Health.
Collaborating organizations include the Waterloo Community
School District, Allen Women’s Health, Pathways, ISU
Extension, and other youth service agencies and community
funders, such as R.J. McElroy Trust, which is contributing
matching funds. For more information about Community Health
Education, contact Joni Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wellmark Foundation has provided nearly $14.7 million
to fund 406 health-related grants in Iowa and South Dakota
since 1997, including $1,739,233 this cycle. “The Wellmark
Foundation collaborates with non-profit and governmental organizations
in Iowa and South Dakota to positively impact the health outcomes
of individuals and communities in our states,” says
Matthew McGarvey, director of The Wellmark Foundation. “We
are happy to fund this grant that will support community-based
wellness and prevention among teens,” says McGarvey.
The Wellmark Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation
created by Wellmark, Inc., doing business as Wellmark Blue
Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Due to the Foundation’s
recent significant support toward disaster relief efforts,
the timeline for the second 2008 community responsive grant
cycle has been modified. Letters of Interest (LOIs) are now
due on September 23, 2008. Learn more about this funding opportunity
during a grant applicant teleconference on July 21, 2008.
For teleconference and LOI details, visit the Foundation’s
Web site at www.wellmark.com/foundation.
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and The Wellmark Foundation
are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield