Sierra Health's Partnerships brings you bimonthly news, opportunities, tools and resources.


Sierra Health's new program will focus on California Capital Region's youth

Sierra Health Foundation's board of directors has made an initial five-year commitment to improving the chances of successful transition to adulthood for California Capital Region youth. This REACH program will include a variety of strategies to promote the healthy development of youth ages 10-15 in a region within approximately one hour from the State Capitol. The focus of the REACH program reflects the board of directors' interest in investing early to prevent unhealthy conditions later in life.

Since Sierra Health completed its 10-year initiative, Community Partnerships for Healthy Children, it has been researching where the foundation can best make its next program investment. Through numerous focus groups, communities repeatedly maintained that young teens, particularly as they transition from elementary school to middle school and then to high school, are at risk for dropping out of school and pulling away from family and community. REACH program strategies—based on extensive youth development research and lessons learned—involve grants and partnerships with residents, public agencies, nonprofit organizations and faith-based groups.

Three foundation beliefs have guided the program's design:
  • Health is much more than the absence of disease.
  • One's health is the result of a variety of biological, social and environmental factors.
  • Prevention of conditions is more cost-effective than treatment.
Sierra Health Foundation has chosen to focus on early adolescence because it's such a critical period in a young person's life. During this time of growing independence, youth often make decisions that impact healthy development and successful transition into adulthood. Studies have shown that if given proper support and skills, youth will choose to avoid risky behaviors such as drug use and early sexual activity.

Three grant opportunities will be available over the next 12 months. (See related stories below.)

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First REACH grants aim to increase participation in quality youth programs

Sierra Health Foundation will award grants of up to $10,000 to improve quality and participation in youth programs in the California Capital Region. Grants will be awarded three times a year to public agencies, nonprofit organizations and faith-based groups that serve youth ages 10-15. Proposal deadlines for the first three rounds of funding are January 15, 2006, April 15, 2006, and September 15, 2006. A proposers' conference will be held at the foundation offices at 1321 Garden Highway, Sacramento, on Tuesday, December 6, 2005, from 10 a.m.-noon. Attendance is limited to 100 people. To reserve your place at this conference, send an e-mail to using the subject line "12/6 Proposers' Conference." Include your name, the name of your organization, and a phone number. For those who cannot attend the proposers' conference December 6, a teleconference will be held on Monday, December 12, 2005, from 1-2:30 p.m. To reserve a line for this teleconference, click here. For assistance, please contact Shannon Stribling with C3 Conferencing, Inc. at 1-800-403-3303, ext. 213 from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday-Friday or by e-mail at

Attendance at a conference is encouraged but not required to apply for a grant.
Learn more about this grant opportunity on Sierra Health's Web site.
To download a MS Word file of the grant application click here.

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Grant opportunity available now for youth-led projects

One of Sierra Health's goals is to increase opportunities for young people to develop leadership skills and to apply them for the benefit of the community. Sierra Health is partnering with the Sacramento Region Community Foundation (SRCF) to create more opportunities for youth to lead projects in their communities. This grant opportunity is open to youth living in the California Capital Region and to organizations that serve them. Groups of youth that wish to team up with a sponsoring adult and agency may review a list of previous youth-led grants and download an application from the SRCF Web site. The application deadline for youth projects is November 30, 2005.

Youth-led project teams will learn about youth development principles, project development, grant writing, project implementation and grant reporting. Project proposals will be reviewed by a youth grant advisory board. This group of 25 young people from throughout the greater Sacramento region will receive training on philanthropy, needs assessments, meeting facilitation and group-decision- making skills. They will make their funding recommendations to the Sierra Health Foundation and Sacramento Region Community Foundation boards and staff and will monitor the youth-led projects selected for funding.

Other community foundations in the region are supporting this effort by promoting this grant opportunity in their communities and assisted in the recruitment of grant review board members.

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Community mobilization strategy to roll out in 2006

From its earlier initiative, Community Partnerships for Healthy Children, Sierra Health Foundation learned the power of mobilizing communities to address issues of concern. With the REACH program, Sierra Health will once again invite communities wishing to make a long-term difference in the lives of their youth to partner with the foundation. In 2006, Sierra Health will announce the availability of multiple-year grants to community coalitions in the California Capital Region that wish to mobilize their residents and formal and informal institutions to create more positive supports and opportunities for their young teens. Planning grants will initially be awarded, with three-year implementation grants subsequently available. For this grant opportunity, Sierra Health defines a "community coalition" as a group of interested residents in a geographic area with a population of no less than 20,000. A community coalition will include a diverse group of individuals represented by schools, local government, law enforcement, parents, youth-serving organizations, business, youth groups, faith groups and more. Interested communities are advised to watch the Sierra Health Web site and future issues of Partnerships for further information.

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Search Institute At the heart of the institute's work is the framework of 40 Developmental Assets—positive experiences and personal qualities that young people need to grow up healthy, caring and responsible.

Youth Development Strategies Inc. is a national nonprofit research, evaluation and technical assistance organization that helps communities improve long-term outcomes for youth.

Youth Services Provider Network is a collaboration of a broad cross section of youth-serving providers and funders in the Sacramento region that meets for training and sharing of best practices.

Promising Practices in Afterschool shares what's working in after-school programs throughout the country.

The Forum for Youth Investment is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping communities and the nation make sure all young people are "Ready by 21 (tm)—ready for college, work and life."

Exemplary Practices in Youth Development Sierra Health Foundation shares its background research paper that led to the development of the REACH program.

Sierra Health Foundation | 1321 Garden Hwy, Sacramento, CA 95833
916.922.4755 | fax 916.922.4024 |