Kaiser Permanente, the largest health-care provider in Northern California, this week announced a $10.5 million investment in the Oakland community designed to help school children stay healthier as they learn, help increase their attendance rates and academic performance and teach them about humanitarian leaders who made positive differences in their communities. Through grants from a fund established by Kaiser Permanente at the East Bay Community Foundation, the gift will establish or expand programs offered by the Oakland Unified School District, the Oakland Police Department’s OK Program and Remember Them: Champions for Humanity. “We consider ourselves a part of the fabric of the city and strongly believe we have a responsibility to play a leading role in improving the health and well-being of this community,” said Gregory A. Adams, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan/Hospitals, Inc., in Northern California. “These grants are expressly tailored to address important community health needs in this city,” he said. “By focusing specifically on programs that serve schoolchildren, the grants represent hope for the future by giving youth the tools and direction they need to thrive.” The grants include: * $7.5 million to school district to support school-based health centers in city schools and the African-American Male Achievement Program, and to support the district’s strategic-planning efforts. * $1 million to the Oakland Police Department’s OK Program to support community-based violence prevention and youth mentoring program for at-risk youth. * $2 million to Remember Them, to support a one-of-a-kind social justice monument and park and the accompanying educational curriculum that will teach schoolchildren about the history of 25 international humanitarians who made a difference through courage, perseverance, education and sacrifice. “We have high expectations for our students and our city, but in order to reach those goals, we must establish conditions that allow children to thrive both academically and socially,” said OUSD Superintendent Tony Smith. “We’re transforming OUSD into a full-service community school district with an emphasis on educating and caring for the whole child,” he said. “Social and human services are not seen as extra or add-ons in these schools. “The early intervention and mentorship provided by the Our Kids (OK) Program can significantly alter the course of a child’s adolescence and break cycles of generational crime,” said Anthony Batts, Chief of the Oakland Police Department.
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