REACH Program Improvement Strategy

Grants up to $10,000, for terms up to one year, are awarded to improve the quality of youth programs or increase the number of youth who participate in quality programs.

Funding for REACH Program Improvement grants is not planned for 2009.

See grants listing below for funded projects.

Eligibility Criteria
Sierra Health will consider funding projects that reflect REACH principles in the design and implementation, and that:

  • Serve youth in the California Capital Region (the organization's office may be located outside of this region), which includes an area encompassing all of Sacramento County and parts of the surrounding counties bounded by:

    • The Sacramento County line in the south
    • Jackson (Amador County) in the southeast
    • Pollock Pines (El Dorado County) in the east
    • Grass Valley (Nevada County) in the northeast
    • Marysville/Yuba City (Yuba and Sutter counties) in the north
    • Winters (Yolo County) in the west
    • Fairfield (Solano County) in the southwest

View the funding region map

  • Reflect in the proposal an understanding of and commitment to REACH youth development principles and evidence-based program practices:
    • Emotional and physical safety and well-being
    • Skill building (cognitive, social, vocational, creative/cultural, civic, physical)
    • Caring relationships and adult-youth connections
    • Community and family involvement
    • Creating partnerships with other youth programs
    • Engaging youth in program planning and other leadership roles
  • Focus primarily on youth ages 10 to 15 (late elementary through transition to high school)
  • Demonstrate that youth ages 10 to 15 were/will be involved in the planning and implementation of the proposed project
  • Actively engage or plan to actively engage youth ages 10 to 15 in projects, programs and the organization’s leadership and decision making
  • Are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or are public agencies

Examples of projects considered for funding

  • Design or testing of youth development program components, including the purchase of curriculum
  • Staff team training (within Northern California) on cultural competency, youth development best practices and program improvement with a clear link to an action plan for organizational change
  • Purchase of computers to add a skills-building component for youth
  • Evaluation planning and implementation to measure a program's effectiveness, i.e., quality of youth program environments, achievement of developmental youth outcomes
  • Improvement of current program design and effectiveness by engaging youth in focus groups
  • Expansion of programs or adding new sites
  • Development of more or better community/school partnerships
  • Marketing and outreach by and to youth
  • Transportation of youth to and from programs
  • Incentives to participate, e.g., awards, field trips
  • Fund development efforts to sustain existing programs with proven effectiveness
  • Creation of a youth council focused on a particular area, such as policy change related to youth issues or identification of and information-sharing about prevalent issues
  • Development and implementation of a community/neighborhood beautification project
  • Creation of a social network for those involved in youth-led projects
  • This opportunity is not intended for general operating or on-going service support. Only one grant request per organization will be considered each cycle.


    REACH Program Improvement Grantees - Spring 2008

    Amador County Recreation Agency
    Project: ACRA After School Program
    This program will provide youth with a safe, fun place to learn about local ecosystems and the importance of environmental stewardship. The school year will start with small environmental stewardship exercises and activities, such as creating art from recycled materials. Larger projects will follow, such as the ecological restoration of a natural park area.

    Children's Receiving Home of Sacramento
    Project: Reach the Youth - Youth Mentor Program
    A youth mentor will join the organization to coordinate, attend and facilitate all meetings of the Resident Council, a youth focus group tasked with providing feedback and suggestions on improving CRH programs. One of the youth mentor’s first projects will be to gather input from youth on the design of the Youth Mentor Program.

    Mercy Housing California
    Project: Pay It Forward Youth Leadership Program
    A youth leadership coordinator will work with youth from Folsom Gardens, White Rock Village and Mercy Village Folsom to identify Pay It Forward projects that will positively impact their community. Youth will implement the projects, working in partnership with Mercy Housing property staff and community organizations.

    Nevada County Superintendent of Schools
    Project: Nevada County Health Career Club
    The project will include a weeklong introduction to health careers, service learning with mentor supervision, hands-on participation in the new Patient Simulation Lab at Sierra College, work experience and exploration of various health careers, as well as a Middle School and High School Counselor Luncheon & Health Center Awareness Workshop.

    Sacramento County Office of Education
    Project: Club Live Leadership Training
    A youth leadership team will be created to plan, implement and evaluate every aspect of the Club Live leadership training event held each fall to provide skill-building training for student leaders involved in the program. Students are interested in training on creative recruitment ideas and public speaking skills, and they have many activity and project ideas.

    Shenandoah High School
    Project: Learning Through Internships
    The goal of this project is to give every freshman and sophomore student an opportunity to participate at an internship site two days a week. More than 100 local businesses, nonprofits, county departments, health professionals and others have partnered with the school. This grant will help fund hiring of part-time van drivers to allow more students to participate.

    Sutter/Yuba Friday Night Live, Inc.
    Project: Afterschool Performing Arts Program
    This performing arts program will help 10- to 15-year-old youth develop talents in drama, dance, art, music and computer graphics. The youth will produce plays, public service announcements and graphic arts in support of SYFNL programs. College students will work as mentors for the youth, engaging them as active leaders and resources in the community.

    United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Sacramento
    Project: Building Bridges Youth Connection
    UCP will develop an Internet forum linked to the organization’s Web site to support young people in having interactive and ongoing discussions about disability issues. The site will provide reliable, useful information on issues youth face, as well as tips on handling relationships with family and friends. UCP will conduct focus groups to develop the site.

    Wonder, Inc.
    Project: Counselor In Leadership Training
    Expanding on its current Journey program for children between ages 6 and 12, Wonder, Inc. will select 10 youth ages 12 to 15 to participate in a youth leadership course. The youth will use their new skills to take responsibility at all Wonder group outings, Camp Wonder and at their own outings. The young leaders will be a youth voice for program staff and the board.

    Woodland High School
    Project: Woodland High School Peer Mediators
    The grant will be used to deepen and broaden this existing peer mediation program, allowing more students to use mediation services and developing the skills of peer mediators. Grant funds also will be used to pay for transportation, training facilities, training manuals and food for peer mediator meetings and trainings.

    Yolo County Health Department
    Project: Yolo County Anti-Tobacco Youth Coalition
    The youth coalition will be expanded into currently underserved areas of Yolo County, particularly the less-populated areas of Winters and Esparto. New youth coalition recruits in outlying areas will receive leadership training. Once recruitment is complete, the coalitions will meet monthly to identify anti-tobacco projects to implement in their community

    REACH Program Improvement Grantees - Winter 2008

    Cottage Housing, Inc./SKYLAB Youth Development Program
    Project: SKYLAB Cool Crew Enhancement
    With a focus on physical health and healthy communities, SKYLAB will enhance its current “Cool Crew” youth programming by establishing structured group sports and fun nutrition education activities for youth in Cottage Housing’s Serna Village project in North Highlands. Youth will learn proper exercise techniques, healthy eating habits and meal preparation.

    Family Connections El Dorado, Inc.
    Project: Let’s Get Real
    High school students who have graduated from Family Connections’ Mentors Plus program will take the lead in designing lessons using the Let’s Get Real anti-bullying curriculum. Working with middle school students, they will facilitate classroom lessons and activities at two school sites, and help students create art for posters, bumper stickers and a calendar.

    Herbert C. Green Middle School
    Project: SPIRIT Anti-bullying Program
    The middle school will increase the number of students and staff involved in the SPIRIT (Student Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together) program, as well as increase student and adult awareness of negative behaviors and attitudes that contribute to prejudice, interpersonal divisions and negative school climate.

    NorCal Center on Deafness
    Project: Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Youth Development
    Deaf and hard-of-hearing youth will be engaged in the assessment of current programs and the design of improved and expanded programs to reach a greater number of deaf and hard-of-hearing youth. This project will enhance, expand and formalize the curriculum and activities of Camp Grizzly, the center’s annual youth leadership training program.

    North Valley Sponsoring Committee
    Project: Yuba City Youth Organizing Project
    NVSC will develop a youth organizing committee made up of 10- to 15-year-old youth from Yuba City. Through this action committee, youth will be able to exercise leadership among their peers and in the community to find positive alternatives for concerns such as gang activity, teen drug and alcohol abuse or other priorities determined by the committee.

    Roberts Family Development Center
    Project: Developing Service Leaders
    This project will engage youth in activities to inspire them to participate in community improvement now and into adulthood. Students will assess the needs of the community through personal accounts and surveys, and will have an opportunity to attend town hall meetings and school board meetings. Youth then will design and implement three projects.

    Rural Innovations in Social Economics, Inc. (RISE)
    Project: RISE Esparto – TEEN/LAIR Training Program
    RISE will expand and enhance its middle school training program’s three pilot programs: the Recreational Leadership Program, which provides training for teens to facilitate activities with elementary students, the Middle School After School Program, which builds adult skill sets, and the Community Bike Clinic, offering teens hands-on skill projects.

    Sacramento City Unified School District, Healthy Start Teen and Family Resource Center
    Project: Teen Outreach and Assessment for Youth Supports
    This project will include developing a self-assessment tool for students at Will C. Wood Middle School and Hiram Johnson High School to identify their progress toward meeting personal and academic goals. Students also will be engaged in promoting Healthy Start’s supportive services to other students, including production of marketing materials.

    St. John’s Shelter Program
    Project: Teen Program
    Youth in the Teen Program will convert the shelter’s computer lab into a teen center for classes and activities, deciding on the décor, atmosphere and equipment for the center. Also, the Teen Program will be enhanced to help youth set and reach goals, and give them a voice and a chance to become productive and self-sufficient members of society.

    Yolo County Housing
    Project: YCH/Migrant Education Youth Soccer League
    This joint effort between Woodland Coalition for Youth partners will connect youth residents of Yolo County Housing sites in Winters, Madison and Woodland to low-cost recreational opportunities. The three sites will form teams that will compete in a weekly round-robin format. Parents will provide coaching and support at practices and matches.

    2007 REACH Program Improvement Grantees

    2006 REACH Program Improvement Grantees