Manchester, NH (PRESS RELEASE) — Project LAUNCH, which has proven transformative for some of the state’s most vulnerable children, is continuing in Manchester with help from a $175,000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
A growing body of evidence shows that the best way to launch children onto a successful path is to invest in the early years. In Manchester, dozens of nonprofit agencies have been working together to help improve outcomes for children.
Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) was created when these local nonprofit agencies partnered with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to apply for a five-year federal grant to help Manchester’s most vulnerable children. Led by the Manchester Community Health Center, Project LAUNCH works to ensure collaboration among organizations serving children and young families in Manchester. Its goal is for all children to enter school with the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills they need to succeed.
In five years, the project succeeded in increasing developmental screening for children; integrating behavioral health into primary care; improving practices for early childhood teachers; improving home visitation, family strengthening and parent education programs; and fielding a team comprised of a police officer, community health worker and a crisis services advocate to respond to situations where children have been affected by violence or other trauma.
Project LAUNCH programs are now being replicated in other areas of the state.
The project is now moving into its next phase. The Charitable Foundation grant will cover continued leadership and coordination, supporting the position of the Project LAUNCH director and the creation of a five-year strategic plan. It will also fund continued improvements in early childhood development teaching practices and parent education. The grant complements other public and private funding sources that are supporting Project LAUNCH programs.
Above: Joyce Craig speaking to Carol Robidoux from Manchester Ink Link. (Photo by Cheryl Senter.)
“Ensuring young children’s healthy development is essential for success in school and in life,” said Lara Quiroga, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Children at Manchester Community Health Center. “Providing our next generation with positive early learning experiences, good health, and strong family support is vital to our future social and economic wellbeing — as today’s children are tomorrow’s parents, workers, and citizens. I’m grateful for the Charitable Foundation’s investment in the programs and services that will help us do just that.”
“This incredibly successful project has improved the lives of young children and families and has great potential to continue to do so,” said Christina Lachance, director of early childhood and family initiatives at the Charitable Foundation and member of the Project LAUNCH advisory board. “All children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. We applaud all of the organizations working together on behalf of Manchester’s young families.”
The investment in Project LAUNCH is part of the Charitable Foundation’s 10-year, $100 million New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative to increase opportunities for young people in need. The Foundation is investing in four proven areas to help all New Hampshire children reach their full potential: early childhood development; family and youth supports; substance use prevention, treatment and recovery; and education and career pathways. Each area of investment aligns with work being done by the public sector, nonprofits, education and business.
About the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation, founded in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire. The Foundation manages a growing collection of 2,000 funds created by generous individuals, families and businesses, and awards almost $40 million in grants and almost $6 million in scholarships every year. The Foundation works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving, supports great work happening in our communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org or call 603-225-6641.