GSK announces $200,000 grant to East Durham Children’s Initiative

Research Triangle Park, NC

Kids lead the way to develop healthier lifestyles

GSK today announced a $200,000 grant to the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) that will support youth leaders as they build a healthier East Durham.

Through the EDCI Youth Leaders for Health program, 4th and 5th graders will develop leadership skills that help them make health-conscious choices. Students will identify health barriers in their community and then recruit their peers and families to make healthy changes to their lifestyles. Nearly 400 kids and family members will be reached in the first year.

“This program is important for students as they prepare to transition to middle school,” said David Reese, President and CEO of EDCI. “When kids adopt healthy habits before their teen years, it gives them a strong foundation for becoming healthy adults. EDCI Youth Leaders for Health is a great opportunity for students to drive change in their own communities.”

Students participating in the EDCI Youth Leaders for Health program meet weekly throughout the school year. They will spend the first few months of the program learning about health challenges in their neighborhood from representatives at local health agencies and universities such as the Durham County Health Department and North Carolina Central University. In early 2018, students will compete for seed money to pilot new health programs addressing health barriers. Several ideas generated by participants will be funded through this grant from GSK, enabling tangible health improvements in East Durham.

“This youth leadership initiative is another example of EDCI’s innovation in creating sustainable change at the community level,” said Jack Bailey, President US Pharmaceuticals. “We are excited to support EDCI in making a real, measurable difference in the health and wellbeing of children and families in East Durham.”

The EDCI Youth Leaders for Health program will kick off on Saturday, October 22 from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the Salvation Army of Durham with activities that engage kids and their families, including:

  • Sports games
  • Nutrition activities
  • A health seminar for parents
  • A Zumba exercise course
  • Fitness demos

Students will also participate in training to develop their problem solving, communication, and leadership skills.

About GSK

GSK – one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. Visit for more company information.

About East Durham Children’s Initiative

EDCI provides a pipeline of high-quality services from cradle to college or career for low-income children and families in East Durham. For organization information visit:

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GSK Media enquiries:

Marti Skold-Jordan




EDCI  Media enquiries:

Lauren Stephenson