Business

The Boston Foundation allocates nearly $1m for study on childhood health interventions

The Boston Foundation, a major funder of local nonprofit organizations, said Thursday that it is allocating nearly $1 million in grants to Massachusetts General Hospital and the Kraft Center for Community Health to develop a study that identifies early childhood interventions that reduce obesity in mothers and young children.

To support the “First 1,000 Days Study,” the Boston Foundation said it is giving a five-year, $625,000 grant to Massachusetts General Hospital and a three-year, $300,000 grant to the Kraft Center for Community Health.

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With a geographic focus on Boston, Chelsea, and Revere, the First 1,000 Days Study will develop, implement, and support interventions to improve outcomes among vulnerable families with expectant mothers and young children. “The First 1,000 Days” seeks to help women during their pregnancies and the children they give birth to for the first two years of the child’s life.

“Early data demonstrate that a focus on early childhood education, health care, and other services can be an effective means of tackling some of the most intransigent problems facing youth today,” Paul S. Grogan, president and chief executive of the Boston Foundation, said in a statement. “The First 1,000 Days Study has the opportunity to create an entirely new coordinated strategy for changing the lifelong health and wellness trajectory for our youngest residents, setting the course for gains in education and other critical areas later in life.”

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The announcement came after Wednesday’s meeting of the Boston Foundation’s board of directors. At the meeting, the board approved about $1.63 million in discretionary grants that the foundation plans to make during the next quarter.

Among other groups in line for grants is Northeastern University. Northeastern is in line for a one-year, $50,000 grant for its Foundation Year, a 12-month program launched by the university in response to Success Boston. The program seeks to provide Boston public school graduates with the skills and academic preparation to continue on to a degree program.

Success Boston is built around providing students with the coaching and support they need to get ready, get into, and get through college.

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Launched in 2008, Success Boston is a collaboration among the city of Boston, the Boston public schools, the Boston Foundation, the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Boston Private Industry Council, and dozens of Massachusetts colleges and universities.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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