Founded in 2005, the Women’s Philanthropy Network is a group of women dedicated to ensuring positive change in the Shreveport-Bossier community. Members pool their annual dues in order to make a high-impact gift to local organizations that focus on education. This year, the membership voted to award two grants totaling $102,000 to the Volunteers of America of North Louisiana and Volunteers for Youth Justice.
Volunteers of America of North Louisiana will receive $75,000 for their Communities in Schools expansion to Westwood Elementary. Communities in Schools (CIS) serves K-12 students who are at risk of academic failure in Caddo’s lowest performing public schools. Services are delivered at the school site by both paid staff and volunteers. Caddo Parish provides free space for this program at each school site and pays 50% of each site coordinator’s salary. In the 2019-2020 academic year, CIS was located in six Caddo Parish Schools. In conjunction with Caddo Parish Schools and Community Foundation of North Louisiana, VOA plans to expand the CIS program to all 14 Transformation Zone schools, plus Creswell Elementary and Broadmoor Middle School, over the next 5 years.
Volunteers for Youth Justice was awarded $27,000 for TBRI Practitioner Certification Training. Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. TBRI helps children who are survivors of complex trauma and their caregivers develop coping skills. As more Practitioners receive this training, they in turn can teach others in our community. By September 2020, Volunteers for Youth Justice will have seven TBRI® Practitioners trained on staff. With a trained team of Practitioners, VYJ will be equipped to utilize the TBRI approach in all of its programs.
The Women’s Philanthropy Network also hosts educational programming to keep members informed of community programs and needs. Since inception, the Women’s Philanthropy Network has granted over $1.2 million to educational initiatives in our community. Learn more about the WPN and become a member at cfnla.org/wpn.