The Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce that it awarded grants to 222 nonprofit organizations in 2018. Grants will support a wide variety of vital services in Middle Tennessee.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee
Established in 1903, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (BGCMT) offers afterschool, summer and sports programs for over 4,000 school-age youth in seven Davidson County and two Williamson County Clubs. BGCMT provides guidance and education in the following priority outcomes: Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyle, and Good Character & Citizenship. Each Club is directed by trained youth development personnel who serve as role models and mentors to youth members. Students are provided breakfast, lunch, snack and a hot meal in the Summer, and a snack and hot meal during the school year. Last year, staff and 438 active volunteers worked with children providing 103,247 hours of tutoring, mentoring and assisting with special activities. 100% of BGCMT youth passed their grade levels; 100% of BGCMT’s high school seniors graduated. Each Club utilizes an afterschool, education enhancement program called Project Learn that focuses on improving academic achievement through: homework help and tutoring; Let’s Go Learn web-based reading software that provides diagnostic assessment and individualized intervention; high-yield learning activities; parental involvement; collaboration with schools; and incentives, recognition, and goal setting. BGCMT utilizes a need-based rate scale which is based on scholarship availability and evidence of need. No child is denied service due to their inability to pay. Grant funding from The Memorial Foundation provides general program support for the seven Davidson County Clubs in 2019.
The Jason Foundation (JFI) seeks to reduce the number of youth suicides and suicide attempts through educational and awareness programs. Father of son, “Jason”, established this organization as a result of Jason committing suicide on July 16, 1997. JFI is headquartered in Hendersonville, TN, but has 117 affiliate offices in 33 states serving all 50 states. The Memorial Foundation’s funding supports JFI’s “Triangle of Prevention” which provides information, tools and resources for youth suicide awareness and prevention to the three major influence areas of a young person’s life – Youth, Educators, and Parents/Community. JFI seeks to educate these three influential groups to be able to recognize these “warning signs” and have a “plan of action” on how to assist that person in getting help. These programs are provided at no charge and include the following:
- “A Promise for Tomorrow“ is a school-based curriculum, designed by mental health professionals, to help students in grades 7-12 learn how to recognize the signs of suicide and how to get help. Teacher packets contain a teacher’s manual, video, training interactive CD, and student materials that focus on suicide prevention. Last year, 623 TN schools received updated and new curriculum resources that reached 198,875 students.
- In-Service Training for Educators helps teachers recognize potential warning signs of suicide and how to respond. This two-hour program has been put on Inter-Active CD and is on JFI’s On-Line Training Module Library. The Jason Flatt Act 2007 was passed that requires every teacher in TN to receive 2-hours of training each year in youth suicide awareness and prevention. Last year, JFI provided this training for 54,415 TN educators at no cost to the teachers, schools, districts or state.
- Parent/Community Seminar helps increase awareness of teen suicide threats and “warning signs” and how to find help. This program is provided by JFI staff or is available in a “Facilitator’s Packet” so that people inside or outside the mental health arena can present a quality and professional presentation on youth suicide prevention. This program is also available on JFI’s website for parents.
- JFI offers the Community Assistance Resource Line (“CARL”) which is a free, national, 24/7 telephone resource line staffed by clinical technicians for anyone in need of more information or help with a referral for local suicide resources.
- “Guard Your Buddy” Program provides TN National Guard members and their families constant access to critical life resources, on-demand counseling, and on-call suicide prevention.
- “A Friend Asks” is a free smart-phone app that helps provide the information, tools and resources to help a friend (or yourself) who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide.
Nurses for Newborns of Tennessee
Nurses for Newborns of Tennessee (NFN) provides free prevention-based home-visiting services by a Registered Nurse to families most at-risk for infant mortality, child abuse and neglect by promoting healthcare, education, and positive parenting skills. Most cases are referred from area Neonatal Intensive Care Units and community pediatricians that involve a variety of health complications including premature and/or low birth weight infants and infant exposure to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco during pregnancy. NFN also serves pregnant women, mothers with medical, mental health, or substance abuse concerns and teenage parents. NFN nurses provide a complete health assessment on the newborn and mother, monitor the child’s growth and development, teach and reinforce positive parenting skills, and provide other support and referral services that would not otherwise be available to these families. Nurses are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for phone consultations. Nurses also work with clients to ensure good mental health, screen for signs of depression and stress. Caregivers who screen high for depression or stress are connected with supporting resources. Program objectives include preventing infant mortality, child abuse and neglect, increasing infants’ immunizations, preventing re-hospitalizations and injuries to babies from household safety hazards, improving parenting skills, connecting families with a medical home, and educating caregivers on CPR, breastfeeding, safe sleep and proper use of medical equipment sent home from the hospital. Last year, NFN provided 1,258 home visits serving 284 medically fragile infants in Davidson and Sumner counties. Most of these infants were discharged from a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Outcomes included: 82% of children have current immunizations; 98% have an established “medical home”; 92% of children had no unexpected ER visit; and 82% of families were practicing Safe Sleep. Funding from The Memorial Foundation will provide program support for NFN’s efforts in Davidson and Sumner counties in 2018-19.
Together, these and other recipient organizations are making a lasting impact in the lives of people in Middle Tennessee.