June 27, 2024

2024 Community Impact Grants

Several local organizations were awarded 2024 Community Impact Grants from New Schools for Baton Rouge. Each of these partners has demonstrated its commitment to the wellbeing of the children of Baton Rouge, collectively focusing on five key areas impacting education:  equity, student growth and development, youth empowerment, family and community, and out-of-school time.  

NSBR believes all children deserve an excellent education, and schools succeed in delivering that when community partnerships are strong. Our community investment and engagement strategy has allowed us to scale impact and leverage resources to drive positive change in partnership with these mission-driven organizations.

2024 New Schools for Baton Rouge Community Impact Grant Recipients:

Baton Rouge Area Youth Network

The mission of the Baton Rouge Area Youth Network (BRAYN) is to strengthen the capacity and efficacy of youth organizations in the Baton Rouge area through shared planning, learning, and resource development. Participation in effective programs outside of school hours positively impacts student achievement, and BRAYN supports out-of-school programs serving youth of all ages in a variety of focus areas.

Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, Inc.

Baton Rouge Youth Coalition’s mission is to help underserved youth excel in high school; enter, persist through, and graduate from college; and secure career-track jobs. The organization seeks to provide students with the best college-preparatory, college persistence, and career placement services money can buy – for free – so they can maximize the economic value of their degrees, build the lives they want, and help future generations do the same. This year’s grant was to support expansion of BRYC’s Persistence Program to serve college students and program alumni with rich career preparation experiences.

The BRidge Agency, Inc.

The BRidge Agency’s programs are designed to alleviate social drivers of crime within criminality hot spots and debilitated neighborhoods through a variety of collaborative efforts and partnerships that revitalize neighborhoods while empowering families to recognize social determinants of health. It is a multi-purpose collective of volunteers and professionals working together to provide opportunities of advancement for disinvested communities. The grant supports RISE, a comprehensive youth-focused program designed to foster resilience and empower positive growth. Through targeted interventions, the program provides crucial support systems to at-risk youth, equipping them with the necessary tools to overcome challenges. RISE also emphasizes education as a key pillar, promoting academic achievement alongside personal development to break the cycle of violence and create a pathway towards a brighter future.

BR STEM Institute

The Baton Rouge STEM Institute believes STEM is integral to every aspect of our life. Its mission is to integrate STEM into classroom learning in alignment with college and career readiness standards by helping students, educators, and parents see the connection to STEM in the classroom and in life. The CIG was for a series of workshops to low-resourced schools serving students in grades K through 8 that don't currently have the capacity for full-time STEM programming.

The Center for Literacy & Learning

The Center for Literacy & Learning believes everyone is empowered through literacy. Its mission is to advance literacy and learning through evidence-based practices in the classroom, home, and community. Our work focuses on closing the achievement gap by increasing teacher effectiveness. The organization’s leaders and staff are experts in the areas of learning differences, evidence-based teaching strategies, and reinforcing the capability of teachers. The CIG supports Louisiana Reads!, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of literacy, the impacts of illiteracy on society, and reading as a civil right. The ultimate goal is to promote at-home reading opportunities through literacy awareness, educator training, parent workshops, book distribution, and direct service to children and families. This initiative partners with BREC to place mini libraries in parks to tackle the literacy crisis through barrier removal, quality content delivery to caretakers of children, promotion of active parent engagement, and building community and school partnerships.

Fathers On a Mission

The mission of Fathers on a Mission is to enhance fathers and father figures, which will ultimately strengthen families. FOAM’s four pillars include education, strong relationships, holistic health, and socioeconomic improvement opportunities. The organization’s programs and resources help fathers positively impact their children's lives and elevate fatherhood as a vital foundation of strong families and communities. FOAM’s grant was to support implementation of a case management system to ensure each father in the program receives comprehensive, tailored assistance. This integrated approach not only focuses on immediate needs but also fosters long-term development and stronger family relationships through continuous engagement and wrap-around support.

Girls on the Run South Louisiana

Girls on the Run offers programs designed to inspire girls of all abilities to recognize and embrace their inner strength and make meaningful connections with others. Trained coaches use physical activity and dynamic discussions to build social, emotional, and physical skills while encouraging healthy habits for life. Trained volunteers meet with groups of girls in 3rd-5th grade for 90 minutes twice a week to facilitate the 10-week research-based curriculum. This includes spring programming plus a one-week Camp GOTR curriculum for four hours each day in summer 2024.

I AM, Empowering the Next Generation

I AM’s mission is to empower every child to discover their unique value and vital contribution to the world around them through social and emotional learning. The organization is in Phase 2 of developing, revising, and editing new grade-level curriculum. During the 2022-2023 school year, it was determined lessons and activities needed to be developed to deliver a more targeted emphasis on SEL skills at every grade level and a cohesive progression of skills from one grade to the next. Therefore, the next phase is to have the new curriculum developed, revised, and edited while being simultaneously taught by I AM Instructors in the schools during the 2023-2024 school year. This, in turn, will increase students' comprehension of lesson content and their ability to apply these skills in their personal lives, plus increase capacity to implement the program in additional schools.

Kids’ Orchestra

The mission of Kids’ Orchestra is to build a community of creative, confident, and socially engaged students through music education. It seeks to bring Louisiana together through music, and serves more than 1,000 students across South Louisiana. Through Kids’ Orchestra, students have the opportunity to study music, play an instrument, and perform in an ensemble. The grant supports programming at Audubon, Magnolia Woods, Ryan, and Dufrocq Elementary Schools. More than 90% of students receive some level of scholarship.


Line4Line, a creative literacy nonprofit in Baton Rouge, uses books with art to excite, empower, and get kids interested in reading and learning. The organization began in 2016 as several barbers volunteering their time to give young men a fresh cut if they read a book aloud, and has since evolved and expanded into schools and other creative spaces. Its programs include Haircuts for Reading, High School Barbering, Book Access, Creative Literacy, Youth Mentoring, and Outreach. The Barbers as Mentors Program engages 150 young people (age 6-17) in quality, out-of-school time programs that foster teamwork, teach and hone skills (physical, academic, social, emotional) and build peer and trusted mentor relationships.  In addition to supporting youth, the BAM program positively impacts 200 low income and ALICE families by removing cost barriers and creating additional opportunities that connect families with additional resources.

New Beginners, Inc.

The mission of New Beginners is to enable at-risk students the opportunity to improve their reading skills and become successful in school by developing reading skills, moral ethics, and character development that will prepare them for high school and post-secondary education. NB’s approach to literacy instruction integrates instruction with authentic reading and writing experiences.  Students learn how to use literacy strategies and skills and have opportunities to apply what they are learning within the classroom.  NB’s literacy program is designed to support the implementation of small group tutoring in conjunction with the Science of Reading in order to achieve significant results for all students.

Power Pump Girls, Inc.

Power Pump Girls, Inc. is a social impact club with a mission to empower women to connect and serve. The group’s merchandise and events drive meaningful conversation and create space for change. Their theory of change is to commission women to inspire action and influence change by implementing the REM model: Rally, Educate, Mobilize. The organization seeks to be a leader in women’s rights advocacy in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas by providing education, resources and opportunities to address the topic of menstruation and increase period equity for all menstruators.  The PMSentials program is an extension of the organization’s mission that exemplifies the belief that menstruators deserve safe and accessible period care products. The program provides education and advocacy resources that equip individuals to pursue menstrual equity on behalf of themselves and others.

Red Stick C.A.R.E.S.

Redstick C.A.R.E.S. is committed to building a resilient community in Baton Rouge and the nine surrounding parishes by improving the community's behavioral, mental and social health through human connection. Redstick C.A.R.E.S. provides counseling and therapy, programs for people with special needs, disabilities and/or who may be on the autism spectrum, educational and skill building activities, support groups, school system advocacy, and a dedicated CARES phone line to connect those in need to programs and resources. The grant supports HASE Care, which is an exceptional, innovative after school program developed to support students’ academic, mental, social, and behavioral health. This approach aims to change the way we view after-care from a place to be after school to do homework to a place to thrive in all aspects of life. The HASE Care program will empower students to develop into the strongest versions of themselves both as students and as community members.

Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation

With a vision of Building Today’s Communities for Tomorrow, Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation (UREC) identifies and refines the hidden potential that rests within communities throughout the Greater Baton Rouge area. The nonprofit and certified community development corporation’s mission is to transform communities by investing in people and restoring neighborhoods by sponsoring projects in the areas of Affordable Housing, Human Development, and Community Engagement. The grant supports UREC’s CCR program, providing low-income high school students with college planning and career immersion experience through quarterly interactive Institutes. UREC will offer five institutes during the 2023-2024 program year focused on Entrepreneurship; Information Technology; College Admissions and ACT Prep; Pre-Law; and Certified Nursing Assistant.

The Walls Project

The Walls Project leads programs, events, and alliances that work to break through and tear down the societal walls that discourage or prevent people from living safe, healthy, and prosperous lives.  It offers a bold vision for what's possible in a community, creating pathways for economic prosperity; lifetime learning; creative expression; and healthy living for all, particularly for those impacted by poverty.  The Walls Project holds that the physical, social, and economic conditions of individuals ultimately and collectively inform the overall safety, health and well-being, and economic conditions of the entire community. The grant supports structured afterschool and workforce development programs for teenagers, which can be vital in shaping their future and enhancing their overall growth. The Walls Project stands out as a beacon of innovation, offering culturally relevant and empowering after-school and workforce development programming. Initiatives within this direct service approach include: Culture Club Afterschool in Local High Schools; Baton Roots’ Hustle & Grow offered at Baton Roots Urban Farm and satellite gardens across the community, and Futures Fund JOLTcon and workforce development technology training programs.

Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge

Using a proven national curriculum, the mission of Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge (YEABR) is to unlock the potential of young, aspiring entrepreneurs. YEABR transforms area high school students into confident entrepreneurs. Over the academic year and under the instruction of the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business, select students launch their very own companies as they generate business ideas tied to their interests, write business plans, file their businesses with the Secretary of State’s office, and pitch to a Shark Tank-like panel for seed funding.

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