Women’s Philanthropy Network Awards $110,000 in Grants to The Arc Caddo-Bossier and Louisiana Key Academy

by | May 28, 2024 | News, Press Release

The Women’s Philanthropy Network (WPN) is a dynamic community of caring women dedicated to enhancing the lives of children in Caddo Parish. Founded in 2005, the WPN was established so local women of all generations and philanthropic capacity could leverage their charitable giving to address pressing issues in the community. Through the power of collective philanthropy, the members make a greater impact than they could individually.

Each year, members pool their annual dues and award a grant to a nonprofit focused on improving school readiness and student achievement. While 80% of the dues are available immediately, 20% of the membership dues are invested in an endowed fund which ensures future grant availability and builds a lasting legacy for the WPN. Community Foundation of North Louisiana manages the WPN funds and administers the grant application.

Grant applications are solicited annually in January and after a rigorous review process by the WPN Grants Committee, finalists are presented at the Annual Meeting where the entire membership votes to select the recipient. Since its inception, the WPN has granted over $1.6 million to effective educational initiatives in our community.

At the Annual Meeting on May 21, the membership voted to award two $55,000 grants, totaling $110,000, to The Arc Caddo-Bossier and Louisiana Key Academy. The Arc Caddo-Bossier received a $55,000 grant for The Goldman School which provides high quality childcare to children, both with and without disabilities, ages two months through age five. “The grant from the WPN will be invested in resources necessary to deliver the least restrictive, most inclusive learning environment to accommodate all children’s learning styles. In addition, this grant will impact each child’s cognitive development, social emotional concepts, visual acuity/auditory skills and facilitate speech language communication. Strengthening these areas of develop will positively impact their classroom literacy performance and increase school readiness,” says The Arc Executive Director, Kristen Powers. Louisiana Key Academy received a $55,000 grant for the Caddo STEAM Program. Louisiana Key Academy is a tuition free charter school for dyslexic children. Dyslexia is common and greatly affects students in a negative way unless they are identified and given evidence-based instruction. The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program is a bonus for students with dyslexia because it plays to their strengths of creativity and higher thinking. The format allows the students to work in a group while learning to problem solve. It teaches resilience because the failure inherent in problem solving allows students  to acknowledge failure and persist until the problem is solved. The grant from the WPN will be invested into the program to  prepare students for more advanced STEAM classes in middle and high school and ultimately the job market.

In addition to strategic grantmaking, the WPN also hosts social and educational events to keep members informed of community programs and needs. To learn more about the WPN or become a member, visit cfnla.org/wpn