Our Programs
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The Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES ) assigns a score of one point to each traumatic experience a child may experience. The study demonstrably proves that across countries, cultures and socio-economic groups - the higher a person’s ACES score, he or she is that much more likely to experience negative outcomes such as risky behavior, not being able to hold down a job, alcoholism and drug abuse, disease and illness and early death.
This research shows that unless children who have been exposed to trauma have certain protective factors in their environments such as an adult they can trust or being part of a community, the likelihood of negative outcomes multiplies. BPF is working to create protective factors so all children can live positive, successful lives.


Focused Grant Program Description: 2012-2016

According to the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition, childhood trauma can “disrupt a child’s normal development and lead to emotional, cognitive, behavioral and social problems.” Experiences such as abuse, neglect, poverty and other stressful situations can lead to a lifetime of physical and emotional problems as well as the likelihood that the individual will exhibit negative behaviors. In response, BPF’s current focus is Promoting Resilience in Children Experiencing or Exposed to Trauma: Creating a Trauma-Informed Culture to Help Children Thrive. The ultimate goal of the program is that children who have experienced trauma will feel safe, be able to express themselves, and grow and develop with the same potential for positive futures as their peers.

Learn more about our Childhood Trauma Grant Program and review our 2015 Guidelines

Grantees for Promoting Resilience Focused Funding

*Children’s Research Triangle to provide trauma informed support and systems within the juvenile justice community so that vulnerable populations receive trauma-informed representation and advocacy. CRT partners with Office of Cook County Public Guardian and Court Appointed Special Advocates in Cook and Lake Counties that provide advocates for youth in the juvenile justice system. The idea is to enable the agencies that train advocates to include trauma in its training. CRT develops needs assessments, provide training and education and provide ongoing technical support.

*Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition for a state-wide Public Awareness Campaign on childhood trauma.

*Illinois Collaboration on Youth to partner with seven after-school agencies across the state to provide training for staff, assess policies and procedures and ultimately create sites that can serve as models of understanding how trauma affects children. ICOY will adapt currently used trauma curricula to fit the after-school setting. Partnerships will be long term and include sufficient technical support to ensure that the changes made become a permanent part of the culture of the partner agencies. ICOY will also create a toolkit that can be used at other after-school sites based on common needs and best practices for that particular setting.

*SGA Youth & Family Services to partner with three social service agencies. SGA will provide strong trauma-informed support including needs assessment, examination of policies procedures, assisting partner agencies in creating self assessment/goals, holding multiple trainings for staff, creation of learning community, technical support and consultation.

*Urban Youth Trauma Center, University of Illinois at Chicago to partner with two social service agencies. UYTC will tailor currently used trauma curricula and models to meet the needs of the particular populations at the partner sites as well as help them change policies and procedures so that they can serve as models of trauma-informed agencies. Partnerships will be long-term and include sufficient technical support to ensure that the changes made become part of the culture of the agencies.

*UCAN to partner with five diverse, youth-serving organizations North Lawndale, including a park district, mentoring program, and an after-school program. UCAN provides trauma-informed training in each partner organization tailored to fit its needs.

Grant Program Description: 2008-2012

Childhood obesity, which leads to a whole slew of related health problems, is a national epidemic that has been steadily increasing since the 1970s. Contributing factors are the lack of availability of fresh foods, not enough physical activity, the high availability and low cost of junk food, and a lack of education about health and nutrition. (Source: Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children.) In 2008, the Bright Promises Foundation initiated a grant program called Healthy Children/Healthy Adults: Promoting Health through Better Nutritional Choices. The program responds to the escalating problem of childhood obesity in the state of Illinois. Now in its final year, the Foundation has successfully enabled community-based multi-purpose agencies to promote better health among low-income and other at-risk children between the ages of 8-12.

Grantees for Healthy Children/Healthy Adults Focused Funding

*Centers for New Horizons, “Healthy Children/Healthy Adults” project, serving children in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. Program includes nutrition classes delivered to children, parents and staff as well as menu planning, budgeting, food preparation and cooking, developing a working community garden and a peer education program where students will learn to be leaders in their school and to promote health and nutrition school-wide.

*Children’s Home + Aid, “Community Schools Student Health Fitness Project”, serving 125 children at Howe Elementary School in Austin. The goal is to provide children the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating and exercise habits. The program consists of hands-on food activities, weekly nutrition and wellness education for children, parent activities, gardening, increased physical activity opportunities and more. All programming is socio-economically and culturally sensitive.

*Erie Neighborhood House, “Super H - Healthy Kids Make Happy Kids” project, serving 200 children in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago. Changing attitudes toward health and nutrition, they are making a healthy lifestyle “cool.” The bi-monthly club for children and their parents includes education about the nutritional value of chosen “super foods” and how to prepare them, field trips, staff training and hands-on activities.

*Family Matters, “FEEL Fit +” project serves 150 children in Rogers Park. This unique program is led by teen girls who have already received two years training as “health activists”. The program, overseen by Family Matters staff and graduate students from the Adler School of Psychology, consists of experiential and interactive nutrition and fitness-focused programming including cooking, gardening and other engaging activities. The initiative combines several research-based nutrition and “green”-focused curricula.

*Harold Colbert Jones Memorial Community Center, “Promoting Health Through Better Nutritional Choices” project, serving 60 children in the South suburb of Chicago Heights. Nutrition, cooking and physical fitness classes are offered, parents are engaged through meetings where they learn the same concepts as children, and a dietician has been hired to assess the food offered to the children as well as through their food pantry.

*Howard Area Community Center, “SHARP Kids” Program serving 105 children in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Goal is to cultivate healthy eating and physical fitness among children and their families, at three locations, and includes publishing a healthy cookbook as a collaboration between staff, families, and the community.

*Northwestern University Settlement, “Healthy Behavior Initiative,” serving 157 children in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago. Activities include cooking classes for children and adults, field trips, physical education activities, staff training in healthy behavior, creating a cookbook with healthy meal recipes, and development of an agency-wide Wellness Policy.



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