U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced Capital Area United Way (CAUW) in Baton Rouge has been selected for a $2 million grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Landrieu strongly supported $45 million for the SIF as part of the fiscal year 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill. This is the first SIF grant made directly to an organization in Louisiana.
CAUW will use the grant to fund eight to 12 organizations that will replicate and/or expand early childhood development programs to increase school readiness among children in low-income and rural parishes within the Greater Baton Rouge area, including East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, Iberville, Livingston, Ascension, St. Helena, and St. James Parishes.
"Investments in early childhood development programs help ensure that more children, especially high-need children, enter school ready and able to succeed." Sen. Landrieu said. "I congratulate the Capital Area United Way for their commitment to Louisiana's children and hope to see the Social Innovation Fund continue to invest in our many worthy community-based nonprofits."
In July 2011, CAUW launched a 10-year commitment to early childhood development. CAUW will build community impact initiatives related to early childhood success and its link to the economic wellbeing of rural and low-income parishes. CAUW will measure children's school readiness by examining indicators of improved birth outcomes; parental engagement, support, and education to meet the needs of their young children.
SIF is an innovative approach to transforming lives and communities that uses limited federal investment as a catalyst for private and public collaborations that grow community-based nonprofits with evidence of strong results. The fund leverages its federal investment by requiring a match by the grant recipient as well as its nonprofit sub-grantee, resulting in a 3:1 match. Using this model, 200 SIF-funded sites operating around the country have used $95 million in federal investments to leverage $250 million of additional private money. It has enabled them to scale up evidence-supported best practices and increase the total impact of these nonprofit organizations.