OGDEN -- The third time is the charm for Ogden United for Promise Neighborhoods. After three attempts, the group found out it will receive a $498,301 federal grant to develop a community plan to help children become successful.
The grant award was announced Friday morning by the office of U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
Leslie Herold, executive director of community impact for Ogden United, helped write the grant with Ogden School District's Kathleen Bideaux and Spectrum, a local grant-writing firm.
United Way will partner with Ogden School District and Ogden city to administer the grant through Ogden United. The group encompasses local leaders of community-based organizations as well as the school district, the city, technology schools and other business leaders.
Reed Richards chairs the organization and will help oversee administration of the grant.
"Ogden United has several projects that are contingent on funding," Richards said, adding that the grant money will help put those in motion. Such things as a preschool program and a Parent University will be greatly impacted by the grant.
"The grant is really a planning grant," Herold said. "The big piece is a needs assessment, listening to neighborhoods and what their needs and concerns are."
Richards said it will be good to be able to put more resources into the Parent University.
"If you train the parents and help meet their needs, they are better able to meet the needs of their children," he said.
The grant will help to create more of a vision of the community as a whole, Herold said.
Richards added that the grant will serve as seed money to launch the programs.
Bideaux believes Ogden United is ready to put everything into action, because it has applied for the grant previously and is very prepared.
Ogden United has been running for more than a year now, and Richards said there is a good vision of where it needs to go and "now we will have the money to really sustain where we want to go."
As part of the yearlong grant, Ogden School District will hire an academic planner, and Ogden city will hire a community planner who will work out of the mayor's office.
"We would have been able to get things done, but now we can do it quicker," Herold said regarding the grant money.
The group now will be able to go into the community and get an accurate picture of its needs and wants.
"This year, we will dig, having conversations with the community," Herold said. "You need to know what your neighborhoods need."
After this year is up and plans are put into place, the group will apply for an implementation grant, which is for $5 million to $7 million over three years.
"We will be in the running, because we will really be ready," Herold said.
The planning and neighborhood meetings will include all different communities in the city. Ultimately, the plan will help children be as successful as possible, pointing them toward the road to higher education.
"We've been running on a shoestring," Richards said. "This is good news."
Standard-Examiner reporter Bryon Saxton contributed to this article.