East Side Aligned, a cross-sector movement working to improve the readiness and well-being of young people in the greater East St. Louis area, has received a $150,000 grant from GSK to strengthen the capacity of out-of-school time providers that serve 23 after school and summer programming sites.
“GSK is committed to building healthier communities where we live and work, including the St. Louis region where we manufacture many of our consumer healthcare products,” said Becki Lynch, acting director community partnerships of GSK. “We are so proud to support young people in East St. Louis through East Side Aligned and the incredible out-of-school time providers that help them thrive.”
Funding will support building authentic platforms for youth to exercise their voice and leadership; ensuring kids have quality programs through cultivating the knowledge, skill and leadership of out-of-school time program staff; and increasing capacity to collect, analyze and use data to evaluate program effectiveness and foster continuous improvement.
In 2015, GSK awarded East Side Aligned an 18-month, $500,000 IMPACT grant to expand access to and enhance out-of-school programming in the East St. Louis footprint. Through the grant, five partner agencies, with support from East Side Aligned, implemented out-of-school time activities to increase the physical, social-emotional and academic outcomes for more than 1,500 children and youth. The funding supported the opening of three new program sites, increasing or stabilizing over a dozen staff positions, and served 421 new youth.
“Providing children and youth with quality programs and resources after school and during the summer is critical to their academic success and helping them build a strong foundation to achieve their goals,” said Evan Krauss, director of East Side Aligned. “GSK is a valued partner of East Side Aligned and the community through its support of youth readiness and wellbeing. We are thrilled for the opportunities this grant will afford us and our partners to improve the lives of young people.”
About East Side Aligned
East Side Aligned is the collective impact movement within Greater East St. Louis working to align and advance policy, practice, and investment across sectors to ensure all children and youth are healthy, safe and secure; ready to learn and work; and empowered to create change. The work of East Side Aligned is carried out by population- and issue-specific coalitions. United Way of Greater St. Louis serves as the lead backbone support organization.
GSK is one of the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical and health-care companies.