These are just a few of the grants announced in 2006.

This listing is posted to facilitate networking in the Marriage Education field.
Please also check the Job Listings posted by successful grant recipients at: /jobs.html

Organization Name: Live the Life, Tallahassee, FL

Contact Information:
Name: Richard Albertson, Founding President
Phone: 850-668-3700

Funding amount: $2.75 million over 5 years

Project Title: Tallahassee Community Healthy Initiative

Proposal Abstract:
Live the Life, one of the largest and most successful city-based healthy marriage initiatives in America, seeks to spark a marriage renaissance in Florida’s Big Bend region, with Leon County as the primary target. We seek to broaden and expand our current marriage programs through the following activities
1) Launch a public advertising campaign that drives couples and individuals to our programs, and promotes a positive social marketing message about the benefits of marriage
2) Offer premarital education and skills training to 2100 individuals over 5 years who are interested in marriage using the Start Smart and FOCCUS curriculums
3) Offer marriage enhancement and divorce reduction programs to 6,400 individuals over 5 years using the PAIRS curriculum through workshops, retreats, and married mentor couples
4) Launch a mentoring program in at-risk communities featuring relationship skills training in PAIRS using married couples as mentors, as well as a “We Do” initiative which finds corporate sponsors to help plan and execute a group wedding for couples who might not otherwise be able to afford a wedding

The three most important outcomes for the Big Bend under this project will be:
1) A 35% reduction in the divorce rate per thousand population from 2006-2011
2) A 15% increase in the marriage rate per thousand population from 2006-2011
3) A 35% increase in premarital education rate from 2006-2011


Organization Name: Aish HaTorah of Washington, DC

Also Known As/Names of Founders/Directors:
BLISS / Stephen Baars / Andy Boltax

Contact Information:
Name: Andy Boltax, Executive Director
Phone: Not available yet

Funding amount: $2.5 million over 5 years

Project Title: BLISS

Proposal Abstract:
BLISS is an innovative, non-denominational marriage enrichment seminar entitled BLISS. BLISS teaches couples a comprehensive set of skills needed to sustain healthy marriages. BLISS’ underlying philosophy is that being married does not guarantee a healthy, productive, partnership. BLISS uses a powerful, modern, multi-media presentation to demonstrate the key skills needed to sustain a healthy, respectful, loving marriage. Humor and tact effectively highlight areas in relationships people tend to minimize or overlook. BLISS participants will obtain the needed communication and deductive reasoning skills to produce a more successful, satisfying, nurturing marriage.
This grant funding will enable us to 1) expand the BLISS seminar audience to Washington, DC, and 2) develop a public education advertising campaign including radio, cable television, and print media promoting healthy marriages through seminar participation. The target population for these activities in Washington D.C. will include a diverse cross section of married couples, engaged couples and those at a serious stage in their courtship. BLISS uses the “train the trainer” model. The BLISS creator will train community leaders, clergy of all faiths, therapists, and teachers so they can then train their sub-communities. The seminar will be adapted to appeal to audiences within the sub-communities. Besides the training, all “trainees” will receive software, marketing materials and live counseling support free of charge. We expect to see a direct correlation that as the number of BLISS trained people rise, the divorce rate among this group will fall.

Networking needs:
We need a full-time Social Worker and a part-time Marketing Director. See job postings for details.

Organization Name: University of Missouri

Also Known As/Names of Founders/Directors:
Carol Mertensmeyer, Kim Allen, & Larry Ganong

Contact Information:
Name: Kim Allen, Director, Center for Adolescent Sexuality, Pregnancy and
Phone: 573-884-0644

Name: Carol Mertensmeyer
Position: Director, ParentLink
Phone: 573-882-2645

Funding amount: $2.4 million over 5 years

Project Title: Connecting for Baby


Marriage rates have declined recently and the number of children raised
in single parent households is increasing, especially among low-income
families. To improve the health and well-being of these families, the
proposed Connecting for Baby (CFB) project (Priority Area 7) seeks to
catch young, low-income pregnant or expecting couples during this "magic
moment"-when marriage seems desirable and possible-and capitalize on
their desire to form a lasting and committed relationship.
The goals of the project are to increase couples' odds of achieving a
healthy marriage by 1) developing a core of marriage education resources
focusing on commitment, communication and conflict management; 2)
providing an intensive marriage education experience and strengthening
family support services so couples have lasting exposure to relationship
building skills; and 3) promoting a network of regional family support
staff on sound healthy marriage principles so participating couples stay
engaged in educational programs. To reach its goals, the CFB project
1. Provide a two-day marriage retreat for 660 couples.
2. Provide 11 follow-up educational meetings after the marriage
3. Provide WarmLine contact with 660 couples and approximately
4,120 other individuals to coach, reinforce lessons, refer to community
resources, and offer ongoing support.
4. Create and distribute a modular CFB Toolkit with healthy
marriage literature and curricula for professionals throughout Missouri
reaching an estimated 16,500 people.
5. Create and distribute public education via tv, radio, and web to
raise awareness among 825,000 individuals about the benefits of a
healthy marriage.

Networking needs:
We are hiring 6 positions, inlcuding warmline staff, project director,
fiscal person and graduate assistants. We are also needing partners for
recruitment throughout Missouri.

Organization Name: University of Central Florida

Contact Information

Name: Matthew Munyon, Faculty/Director
Orlando, Florida
Phone: (407) 617-2627

Funding amount: $1.6 M (($247,660 per year for 5 yrs)

Project Title: Together Project

Proposal Abstract: The Together Project is designed to provide marriage enhancement and marriage skills training programs for married couples through skills-based marriage education programs and family support services. For the purposes of this grant, the marriage education portion of the project will be based upon a 24-hour PAIRS curriculum, which involves learning to deal with emotions and conflict, build intimacy and utilize practical techniques for developing a positive relationship and family climate. To address the specific issues of low-income married couples, an additional six hours will be offered in such areas as financial management, interpersonal abuse, and stress management. The project will conduct research on its effectiveness with low-income married couples with children in Central Florida. Couples will be assessed using indicators of marital quality and marital stability. In addition, data will be collected on the children’s health and behavior. Results will shed light on two of the most significant issues in the field, which are the following: the lack of long-term follow-up on marriage education and the lack of information about the effects of improved marital adjustment on children.


Organization: Laugh Your Way America LLC, Spanish Programs
Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage is directed by Marg Gungor
Contact Person: Chris Ferrell
Stevens Point, WI

Funding: $265,000 per year for five years

Project Title: Hispanic Multimedia Seminar – Ríanse A Un Matrimonio Feliz

This Project is within Program Priority Area 5; Healthy Marriage Grant to Serve Low-Income married Couples: Level 2

We will use this funding in order to do a series of 24 yearly seminars to the target group of low income Latino immigrant married couples, as well as telephone based marriage coaching to troubled couples that request help at our seminars.
Our work will promote healthy marriages through the following two allowable activities: (#5) Marriage enhancement and marriage skills training for couples (#6) Divorce reduction programs that teach relationship skills
For Allowable Area #5, we aim to present to an average of 125 people at each seminar. This means that we will deeply touch roughly 3000 people in the first year. The seminars will use the proven Laugh Your Way seminar format.
Teaching methods will vary greatly throughout each seminar in order to maintain interest and increase retention. The seminars will use video professionally dubbed into Spanish, slide presentations, audience participation and interactive role modeling on stage. The language will be colloquial Spanish with an emphasis on simplicity.
The main teaching points in the curriculum to be set forth are:
• the emotive and cognitive differences between men and women
• the need for men to make their wives their most important priority
• how to identify and support your spouse’s five key motivations
• how machismo degenerates in the American culture into something destructive
• how the Madonna syndrome together with machismo separate fathers from their sons
• how Latino fathers can engage with their sons and keep them out of gangs
• strength based thinking and behavior
• forgiveness and healing

For Allowable Area #6 we will offer help to couples in crisis that have or soon may separate. We offer them our telephone based series of coaching sessions. Normally there will be 8 sessions of one hour phone calls over 4 to 6 weeks that have a success rate of 88% in staving off separation or divorce.


Organization Name: Family Builders of Idaho, Inc

Babara Petty is creator of "Married and Loving It!"curriculum.

Contact Information:
Rev Terry Petty, Cornerstone Assembly of God
Barbara Petty, University of Idaho Extension Educator
Position: Project Manager
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Phone: 208-523-5163

Compassion Capital Fund (CCF) Targeted
Capacity Building Program Amount: $50,000 for one year.

Proposal Abstract:
Family Builders of Idaho (FBofI) is a newly formed non-profit
corporation preparing to present a broad array of social services,
education, and support opportunities to the families of eastern
Idaho. The target population for FBofI is the youth and adults
living in Idaho's rural communities to strengthen families,
marriages, and general relationship building skills. Based in Idaho
Falls, FBofI is strategically located to address needs in the
surrounding rural communities, specifically Lemhi County, and its
county seat, Salmon, Idaho.

This grant will allow FBofI to:
1. increase the capacity and infrastructure of its ability to
provide vital family programs and services to rural Idaho
communities. 2. address train leadership teams to effectively
provide learning opportunities to youth and adults and strengthen
marriages and families. 3. enhance collaborative relationships
among community entities and persons.

Networking needs:
It would be helpful, if someone has a template / survey form that
would allow easy assimilation of current and needed programs and
services to provide a balance and effective comprehensive family


Organization Name: Rockdale Medical Center, Georgia

Also Known As: The Adolescent Health Education & Leadership Project (A-HELP)

Project Director: Phillippia Faust

Contact Information:
Name: Phillippia Faust
Position: Project Director
City/State: Georgia
Phone: 770 918-3296

Funding amount: $455,510 per year for 5 years.


Resource Needs: Specific tool to interview Educators that will promote marriage appreciation and teach healthy relationship skills.

Project Abstract:
Rockdale Medical Center (RMC) has been responding to the needs of adolescents in the tri-county area of DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale Counties for over seven years. In an effort to share the value and advantages of marriage with high school students in the three counties, and in response to priority area 8, RMC will offer the Marriage Appreciation Training Uplifting Relationship Education (MATURE) project.

MATURE will integrate educational strategies that support healthy marriages through the provision of 15 lessons to the tri-county 9th through 12th grade students utilizing the PAIRS for Peers and Connections: Relationships and Marriage curricula. MATURE will serve at least 2000 students each school year. In addition to marriage appreciation, lessons will address healthy male/female relationships and life-skills information such as dating violence prevention, domestic violence prevention and budgeting.

MATURE will hire a project director to supervise all project activities and staff members. A project coordinator will also be hired as the primary contact with school staff members and to plan the schedules of relationship educators who will be contracted to provide the marriage appreciation classes.

MATURE project staff members will also host marriage celebration activities and participate in community health fairs, conferences and workshops targeted towards high school aged youth. During these events, MATURE will offer materials and presentations that support the message of marriage appreciation and healthy relationships among adolescents.
Samples of the students participating will be interviewed, surveyed and they will participate in focus groups in order to assess the improvements they make in relationship skills and knowledge concerning the importance and value of marriage.


Organization Name: Yuba – Sutter Healthy Marriage Coalition @ Church of Glad Tidings
Location: Northern California

Also Known As/Names of Founders/Directors: Bill Jens, Founder / Director

Contact Information:
Name: Bill Jens, Director
City/State: Yuba City, California
Phone: 530 671-6069

Funding amount: $50,000 for one year.

Project Title: Say “Yes” to Marriage

Proposal Abstract: 1) Organizational Development - Develop and train staff
and Board of Directors; Obtain 501 ( c ) 3; 2) Program Development – Conduct
11 or more Train the Trainer seminars; Develop and enhance a Community Marriage
Resource Center Website; 3) Revenue Development Strategies – Acquire Donor
Tracking Software; Develop and implement Case statement binder; Develop Strategy Activities

Organization Name: Forest Institute of Professional Psychology

Contact Information:
Name: Jennifer Baker, PsyD, LMFT
Position: Principal Investigator
Phone: 417-823-3469

Funding amount: $1,037,362 per year for 5 years.

Project Title: Healthy Marriage Project of Southwest Missouri

Proposal Abstract:
Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
HHS-2006-ACF-OFA-FE—0033 – Priority Area 2
Healthy Marriage Project of Southwest Missouri

Healthy marriages are important to the well-being of adults, children, and society. Although located in the heartland of America, marriage in Springfield, MO, and the surrounding 29 county region shows evidence of considerable distress. Child welfare workers, partners with Forest Institute on a Child Welfare Training Grant, have indicated there are few healthy marriage/healthy relationship (HMHR) education resources to which they might refer their clients. Annual surveys have demonstrated a lack of services for the general public. In light of the demonstrated need and expressed interest in HMHR education, Forest Institute is seeking funding to implement multiple allowable activities that encourage, support and sustain healthy marriages. The target groups include 1) high school students, 2) engaged couples, couples in a serious dating relationship, or persons interested in marriage, 3) unwed expectant mothers and fathers, 4) married couples, and 5) couples at risk for divorce. The proposed activities, involving key partners throughout southwest Missouri, include the following: 1) an advertising campaign; 2) training programs [PREP, Connections-PREP, Within My Reach, Within Our Reach, Love’s Cradle, Smart Steps for Stepfamilies and Divorce Busting]; 3) focused referral events; 4) relationship first aid kits; 5) community wide HMHR events; and 6) on-line refresher materials.

Networking needs:
(people, resources etc that you have to offer or are looking to find)
1) Several job positions are now available. Details can be found at .


Contact Information:
Name: M.P. Wylie, PhD
City/State: Irvine, California
Position: Project Director
Website: Fatherhood Website coming soon
Phone: 949-725-3366

Funding: $250,000 per year for 5 years.

Project Title: Orange County Fatherhood Healthy Marriage Project (OCFHMP)

Proposal Abstract:
Relationship Research Foundation, Inc. (RRF), with the collaboration of Orange County Marriage Education and Training Institute (OCMETI), will be addressing: Skill-based marriage education to increase the likelihood that fathers will have a higher opportunity of experiencing a healthy marriage and a stronger family environment by implementing marriage education programs in the areas of
(1) pre-marriage (singles),
(2) marriage preparation and
(3) first-year marriage.
This will include and not be limited to relationship skills education, with a special focus on helping men (and women) create healthy marriages and strong families.

The five programs put into action in this project, concentrate on both marriage and relationship skills and implementing the core skills necessary for a healthy marriage, good parenting, supporting fatherhood and developing strong families:
(1) Journey to Love (J2L) for Singles
(2) FOCCUS Inventory for Marriage Preparation
(3) Mastering the Magic of Love (MML) simplified RE program
(4) Love's Cradle (LC) simplified RE program and parenting skills
(5) Relationship Enhancement (RE) skilled based program for building communication skills and intimacy

The five objectives for this project are to:
(1) build a stronger coalition and raise awareness of the importance of fatherhood;
(2) train trainers-of-trainers to create longevity of marriage education;
(3) train facilitators, leaders, and mentor couples to multiply the number of people served;
(4) develop numerous project sites for programs, to increase attendance and create a community wide impact;
(5) evaluate the five programs and the Orange County Fatherhood Healthy Marriage Project (OCFHMP) to track and implement "best practices" in marriage education for Orange County.

Networking needs:
What we have to offer:
(1) Training in Orange County, CA in the following programs:
(a) Journey to Love (J2L) for Singles
(b) FOCCUS Inventory for Marriage Preparation
(c) Mastering the Magic of Love (MML) simplified RE program
(d) Relationship Enhancement (RE) skilled based program for building communication skills and intimacy
(2) Mentoring in implementing the above programs

We need:
(1) Faith based and community organization in Orange County, CA that would like training and mentoring in the above programs
(2) Strategies to meet the needs in Orange County, CA in relationship and marriage education, especially in the areas of Fatherhood
(3) Best places to market (provide brochures) to meet the Fatherhood need in Orange County, CA
(4) Coalition members to partner and collaborate with us in flooding Orange County, CA with relationship and marriage education, as well as focussing on Fatherhood


Organization Name: New Mexico State University

Program Name: Strengthening Families Initiative

Name: Dr. Esther Devall
Position: Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences Department
Phone: 505-646-1185

Funding amount: $494,999

Area to be served: Doña Ana County, Bernalillo County, Valencia County, and Sandoval County in New Mexico

Project Title: New Mexico Healthy Marriage Initiative

Proposal Abstract:

The New Mexico Healthy Marriage Initiative requests $494,999 to implement Couple and Family Wellness classes for single parents and cohabiting couples interested in marriage, and married couples (Priority Area 8, Allowable Activities 4 and 5). Eighteen class series will be offered in Doña Ana County and the metro Albuquerque area (Bernalillo, Sandoval, and Valencia Counties) to 270 adults and their children. Approximately 6,480 hours of marriage education will be provided to the adults at an estimated cost of $85 per hour.

The Family Wellness curricula will be used to provide low income, predominantly minority families with information on the importance of healthy, stable relationships for the well-being of children and adults. Families will be provided with skills training in communication and conflict resolution, effective discipline, and family functioning. Families will also be educated on domestic violence and parenting children from previous relationships.

Each class series will consist of 12 two-hour sessions for the entire family. Classes will be offered by highly trained marriage educators in English and Spanish. Participation in the Couple and Family Wellness classes will be voluntary, and all interested individuals will be welcomed. Couples with domestic violence issues will be referred to local agencies.

Adults will be asked to complete pre- and post-tests to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Positive gains are expected in three areas: (1) couple relationship – commitment, communication, conflict resolution, and satisfaction; (2) parenting – empathy, positive discipline, and roles; and (3) family functioning – cohesion and flexibility, problem solving strategies, and family environment.


Organization Name: New Mexico State University

Program Name: Strengthening Families Initiative

Name: Dr. Esther Devall
Position: Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences Department
Phone: 505-646-1185

Funding amount: $218,335 per year for 5 years.

Area to be served: Doña Ana County, New Mexico

Project Title: Incarcerated Fathers Program

Proposal Abstract:

NMSU Strengthening Families Initiative is requesting $218,335 from the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Promoting Responsible Fatherhood under authorized activity area 2 (Responsible Parenting), Priority Area 3 (Responsible Fatherhood Single Activity Grants, Level 1) to provide services to incarcerated fathers at Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility (SNMCF) and their families. The SFI Incarcerated Fathers Program will promote responsible fatherhood by: (1) providing extensive research based parenting education, (2) providing life skills education, (3) disseminating domestic violence information, (4) mailing projects to inmates’ children and educational materials to their parenting partner, (5) providing community-based referrals as needed, (6) co-sponsoring two Family Day events, and (6) distributing newsletters statewide.

New Mexico State University will partner with Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility and La Casa Domestic Violence Services. SFI is uniquely qualified to deliver this program because of our previous experience serving underrepresented populations. We have statewide programs reaching incarcerated parents, parents and children under state supervision, and teen, foster, single, and divorced parents. Our staff is fully qualified, with the program director having over 20 years of experience in the field of families and children.

The total project budget is $243,706 with the match secured at $25,371 to serve 120 incarcerated fathers, their parenting partners, and approximately 300 of their children.


Organization Name: Therapy Help Inc.

Also Known As: Power of Two, Dr. Susan Heitler

Contact Information:
Name: Abigail Hirsch, Director
Denver, Colorado
Phone: 303 388 1973
Web site:

Funding: $550,000 per year for 5 years.

Proposal Abstract:
In today’s world, communities congregate in cyber-space as well as in person. We propose strategies for bringing marriage education into online communities. We will develop and place episodes of our innovative internet learning game onto a raft of community websites likely to be viewed by individuals who are unmarried and expecting a child. Each episode of our fun game presents typical conflicts while teaching specific communication and collaborative conflict resolution skills. By making these game episodes available for free to websites to integrate into their sites, we will demonstrate that delivering marriage skills is appealing to members and good for business.

Power of Two, the brand-name for materials produced or sold by TherapyHelp Inc., is a small business with over a decade of experience providing quality resources for teaching the skills for marriage success. This grant is to demonstrate the potential of our newest innovation, an interactive internet game platform. Specifically, building on the software that we have developed and beta tested, we will:

1. Create a library of free on-line marriage, relationship and related skills game episodes.
2. Market strategically to place these episodes onto existing sites that reach both small (e.g., a church website) and broad (e.g., magazine websites) communities of users.
3. Assess how best to attract maximum users to play the games.
4. Evaluate the skills-learning impact of this exciting new skills-teaching modality.

By working with community leaders—heads of organizations, web editors, and business managers —we aim to create a climate where dynamic web-based marriage skills education becomes an expectation not an exception.

Networking needs:
(people, resources etc that you have to offer or are looking to find)
We are looking to meet unwed expectant parents who would like to participate in focus groups.
We also are looking for organizations who would like to learn about adding the games to their sites.
We are able to provide custom game-episodes for organizations looking to enhance their web-offerings.


Organization Name: Utah State University

Contact Information:
Name: Dr. Brian Higginbotham, Ph.D.
Position: Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist
E-mail: BrianH (at)
Phone: 435-797-7276

Project Title: Teaching Healthy Marriage Skills to Ethnically Diverse, Low-Income Couples in Stepfamilies.

Proposal Abstract:

The proposed project targets allowable activities Four and Five by teaching healthy marriage skills to ethnically diverse, low-income couples in stepfamilies. Educational classes will be offered at ten sites in partnership with seven family service organizations in northern Utah. These organizations have established family programs and connections with the targeted population. The rationale for this project is that stepfamilies are becoming an increasingly common family formation in the United States. There are, however, few educational programs that help couples prepare for remarriage and/or enhance their relationships in the context of stepfamily-living. There are even fewer programs, if any, that provide these services for ethnically diverse, low-income couples in stepfamilies.

This project will utilize the Smart Steps curriculum - a 12-hour, research-based program for adults and children in stepfamilies. Adults and children meet separately for the first hour-and-a-half of each module and then combine for the last half-hour for family-strengthening activities. The curriculum focuses on relationship building, conflict management, commitment, and other essential relationship skills. The Spanish version of Smart Steps will be available to sites with predominantly Hispanic populations. Booster sessions and newsletters will reinforce the skills learned in the classes.

By addressing the barriers that have historically hindered these couples from participating in marriage education, this project provides low-income couples in stepfamilies with unique opportunities to learn healthy marriage skills. The project will also include a longitudinal study of participants and a formative evaluation of effective strategies to reach and teach these couples.


Organization Name: Family Resources, Inc.

Contact Information: 5180 62nd Avenue, Pinellas Park Florida 33781
Name: Pat Gerard
Position: Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Phone: 727-521-5205

Amount awarded: $1,093,365

Proposal Abstract:
Family Resources, Inc. and Marriage and Family Center will organize and lead the Tampa Bay Healthy Marriage Initiative, a community-wide project with the purpose of assisting residents of the Tampa Bay, Florida region in building safe, stable, and strong marriages. The project geographic area is Pinellas and Manatee Counties, Florida. The project target population is residents of both counties who are married or interested in marriage.

Project activities will include a public awareness campaign on the value of marriage and skills to increase marital health; annual Healthy Relationships Conferences; marriage and relationship skills workshops using the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) for non-married expectant mothers and fathers, individuals who are engaged or are considering marriage, and married couples; a pre-marital education short course; private couples education for couples considering divorce or experiencing severe marital stressors; training of community providers to become PREP instructors; and formation of an Advisory Group of civic leaders and resident representatives to guide and promote the Initiative.

Over the five-year project period, we will deliver marriage and relationship education and enhancement training to 5,000 participants; provide divorce reduction services to 2,000 participants; and train 200 community providers in PREP. At least 75 percent of participants will report change in knowledge or skill about healthy relationships as a result of their participation in an Initiative activity.

Areas to be served: Pinellas and Manatee Counties, Florida

Networking needs: (people, resources etc that you have to offer or are looking to find)

The program will be working with agencies and organizations in the community to obtain referrals for participants and will be identifying community providers who can benefit from the PREP training.


Organization Name: Family Guidance, Inc. is the lead agency

Also Known As/Names of Founders/Directors:
Family Guidance was previously known as Youth Guidance, Inc. and Family Ministries, Inc. which merged in 2000 to form Family Guidance.

In addition to Family Guidance, this coalition consists of the Center for
Urban Biblical Ministry (CUBM), the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI),
The Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh, Smith Brothers Advertising,
and a team of evaluators headed by Dr. Stanley Denton.

Contact Information:
Name: Daniel Jeffries
Position: Director of Youth and Family Programs
City/State: Pittsburgh, PA

Phone: 412-741-8550

The total annual budget for TWOgether Pittsburgh is $1.67 Million
The federal portion is just over $1.5 million per year.

Project Title: TWOgether Pittsburgh

Proposal Abstract:

TWOgether Pittsburgh will develop a multi-pronged effort to create healthier, more viable marriages that consists of the following six program modules:
• Pre-marriage preparation
• Marriage enrichment (including parenting and fatherhood skills development)
• Couple-to-couple mentoring
• Divorce reduction
• High school marriage and family education
• And a public awareness campaign

Our approach will be to systematically provide a unique and balanced integration of program curriculum which has been shown to effectively raise the specific skills whose absence would place marriages in jeopardy. The above program modules will incorporate a variety of best practice models such as PREP, PREPARE-ENRICH, and PAIRS and blend them with various adaptations which we have found, in our experience, to be superbly effective in developing a healthy, satisfying marriage relationship.

The target area for this initiative will be the five-county region surrounding Pittsburgh, essentially constituting the greater metropolitan Pittsburgh area. We will gain broad community saturation and ensure programmatic sustainability by partnering with respected local institutions in various neighborhoods. To date, our coalition has assembled a network of close to 200 local community and faith-based organizations that share a deep concern for the welfare of families in this region. As a coalition, we will select 30 qualified local organizations, such as local places of worship, with experience in providing marriage and family-related services with which to partner. These community organizations will be selected for their ability to effectively know and serve their communities, and will function as program sites for the various healthy marriage services to be offered. This model also leverages the vast resources of local community and faith-based organizations already indigenous to the communities we hope to serve. Furthermore, this approach will expand the inherent capacity within these communities for healthy marriage programming that will last well beyond the term of this grant.

Networking needs:
(People, resources etc that you have to offer or are looking to find)

What we can offer: We would be happy to swap ideas and expertise with others who believe this may be helpful.
Specifically, we have a successful track record in:
• Establishing collaborative partnerships with local places of worship
• Effective mentoring strategies
• Innovative modifications and problem-solving in program design
• Planning for long-term sustainability
• Maintaining cohesion in coalitions
• Cross-cultural programs and serving underserved, underprivileged, or at-risk children, youth, and family populations

What we may need: For comparison, we would like to know what curriculum materials other grantees are using for divorce reduction and high school education. We would also appreciate potential connections with other faith-based organizations.

First Things First
Contact Person: Julie Baumgardner
Chattanooga, TN

Funding: $1,100,000 per year for five years

Project Title: The First Things First Healthy Marriage Demonstration Project

Project Abstract:

First Things First, arguably the premier Community Healthy Marriage Initiative model in the country, is seeking funding through the Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant to inundate their community with programs and resources that support, encourage and build healthy marriages. For the last ten years, First Things First, under the leadership of Julie Baumgardner, recipient of the 2004 Smart Marriages Impact Award, has worked through effective media campaigns and grassroots strategies to turn around a community where the divorce rate was 50 percent higher than the national average and 50 percent of the births in the city and 39 percent of the births in the county were out of wedlock. To date, First Things First has contributed to a 33.6 percent decrease in divorce filings, a 25.4 percent decrease in the divorce rate, and a 26 percent decrease in teen out of wedlock pregnancies. This highly successful initiative has worked with stakeholders from diverse sectors of the community to accomplish its work without Federal funding.

With Federal funding from this grant, First Things First will build upon its strong foundation to create a community saturation model, which will focus on implementing six of the eight allowable activities to weave marriage preparation and strengthening tentacles through the entire greater Chattanooga community. Major components of the strategy include: 1) A community-wide public advertising and media campaign on the benefits of healthy marriage and the value of marriage education; 2) Marriage skills programs for non-married pregnant women and non-married expectant fathers; 3) Pre-marital education and marriage skills training for engaged couples and or persons interested in marriage; 4) Marriage enhancement and marriage skills training programs for married couples; 5) Divorce reduction programs for married couples in distress; and 6) Education opportunities for teens on the value of marriage, relationship skills and budgeting. The project’s design will allow for it to be transferred to other communities.


Healthy Marriage Project, Greater Sacramento Region
Executive Director: Carolyn Rich Curtis

Funding: $549,256 per year for five years.

Project Title:
Healthy Marriage Project, Greater Sacramento Region

The Healthy Marriage Project, Greater Sacramento Region (HMP) in conjunction with the Sacramento Children’s Home, Birth and Beyond, Sacramento County’s child welfare program and the Sacramento Employment &Training Agency for at risk parents is requesting $549,256 per year in funding for five years to provide non-married pregnant women and non-married expectant fathers with marriage education and supportive mentors. Training will cover parenting skills, financial management, conflict resolution, and job and career advancement. Emphasis will be on un-served and undeserved communities. In addition our approach includes a public advertising campaign for this population on the value of marriage and having children after marriage.
The core of this innovative Building Families project is to help couples establish and sustain healthy families through educational programs paired with specially trained mentor couples. We will adapt well known, effective Marriage Education (ME) programs to be “user friendly” and ethnically and culturally relevant. Our cost effective approach uses ME materials that are in the public domain, are inexpensive and require minimal training, interwoven with “Train the Trainer” and pre-packaged programs. Initially, this program will serve 160-200 Couples (320-400 individuals) at five locations, gradually expanding during the second through fifth years Community volunteers as well as past participants will be trained to lead the program, thus creating an easily portable, self-sustaining program that can spread throughout the Sacramento community; a truly unique benefit. Thus, this project is designed to reduce the out-of-wedlock birth rate, poverty and family violence prevalent in these communities and restore family wellness.
Programs to be used: Caring for My Family, Mastering the Magic of Love (RE), 12 Conversations for Mentoring, Bringing Baby Home, PICK a Partner(aka "How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk", 10 Great Dates.

Organization Name: The Dibble Fund for Marriage Education
Grant Partners are: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and Family,
Career and Community Leaders of America

Also Known As/Names of Founders/Directors: Kay Reed, Executive Director

Contact Information:
Kay Reed, Executive Director
Phone: 510-528-7975

Funding: $550,000 a year for 5 years.

Proposal Abstract:
PROJECT ABSTRACT: The Dibble Fund’s Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant focuses on youth with a top down, bottom up approach. We will increase the number of high school teens who have the knowledge and skills necessary for healthy relationships and marriage by increasing their access to “best practices” programs through schools, youth agencies, faith communities, and peer-to-peer education efforts. We will work directly with Family and Consumer Science teachers, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America chapters, and Healthy Marriage Coalitions to reach a minimum of 113,500 teens with 1.66 million hours of education. We will also work to encourage state and community Healthy Marriage Coalitions to include youth programming in their activities.

In addition, we will influence the knowledge and attitudes of millions of teens (and their parents) about healthy relationships, the “success sequence,” and marriage through an innovative, cost-effective media campaign that reaches our target audience “where they are” by leveraging the power and reach of the entertainment media, the internet, and other new media. We will promote constructive discussions of healthy relationships in what is already a highly sexualized teen media culture and encourage young people and families to discuss their own views and values. We will also tap into the rapidly changing ways that teens receive information through the Internet and other new media to deliver messages about relationships and marriage to large numbers of teens.

We seek $550,000 under Priority Area 8 to implement two allowable activities focused on youth: 1) public advertising campaigns on the value of marriage and the skills needed to increase marital stability and health; and 2) education in high schools on the value of marriage, relationship skills, and budgeting.

Networking needs: We look forward to networking with groups or individuals working with youth in relationship and marriage education. Please contact us to begin a conversation! (people, resources etc that you have to offer or are looking to find)


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