More than 50% of the children in Jefferson Parish cannot swim! So when the JCF initiated a free learn to swim program, this summer, the response was overwhelming!
This summer, JCF formed a partnership with the YMCA of Greater New Orleans, the Parish of Jefferson and the Jefferson Parish School Board, and more than 230 children successfully completed the Y’s H2Geaux program which teaches non-swimmers the basics of water safety and swimming. Plans are already underway to expand that number in the summer of 2019!
JCF was an early supporter of Laureate Academy, a west bank open enrollment elementary school that opened four years ago.
Classrooms at Laureate filled quickly, and today there are more than 400 students enrolled there with waiting lists for each grade level. Having outgrown its original location, Laureate administrators worked with JCF Board members to secure a new home and this fall, Laureate students will enter spacious new quarters in St. John Bosco parish. While nearly 90% of Laureate’s students are at-risk students, the school ranked as the highest performing open-enrollment elementary school on the West Bank, proving true the Laureate mantra—every child can learn!
JCF played a critical role in sustaining and advancing the effort to revitalize the Fat City neighborhood. In 2013 the Fat City Task Force created by the Jefferson Parish Council concluded its two years of work when it delivered a series of recommendations on that renewal effort to the Parish Council. That final recommendation involved the creation of a business development district known as the Metairie Business Development District ( MBDD). The JCF helped facilitate that recommendation by providing funds for a small staff to ‘bridge ‘between the volunteer efforts until the official MBDD could take over. This volunteer organization known as Fat City Friends served a vital role in the transition in the two-year period between the conclusion of the task force and the creation of the Metairie Business Development District in 2015. Fat City Friends was able to mobilize a public mural campaign, a ‘greening’ campaign involving the planting of more than 200 trees in Fat City and holiday lighting displays. The funding from JCF was leveraged to match a grant from the Parish so that those improvements could be rolled out and the effort could continue without interruption.
JCF is proud of its support for the Kenner Discovery School(KDS), an open enrollment school which continues to grow and expand its campus and its enrollment. Six years ago, JCF funded an initial ‘seed money ‘ grant to KDS. The first students walked through the doors 5 years ago. They were 420 in number. Today there are more than 1200 students at KDS and in 2020, KDS will graduate its first senior class. And for the past three years, KKDS has been ranked as an “A” school by the Louisiana State Department of Education. Most recently, the Jefferson Parish School Board granted KDS an additional 10 years on its Charter designation.
Boys and Girls Club of Gretna JCF grant funding has helped to improve academic success and enrollment.
Woodmere’s residents have more to enjoy and be thankful for since the Jefferson Community Foundation revived the Woodmere subdivision.
Woodmere is located on the Westbank of Jefferson Parish and is the largest subdivision in the State; it is home to about 20,000 residents, most are first time home buyers. In response to complaints from residents about a need for stronger public safety measures and enhanced code enforcement, the JCF partnered with the district councilman, Mark Spears, and funded a neighborhood renewal effort which included sponsorship of community health fairs, installation of video surveillance cameras in targeted areas, and seasonal community celebrations. The JCF also assisted with after school activity programs for Woodmere students.