FORT WAYNE - The Fort Wayne-based Foellinger Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to an Allen County organization. Great KIDS Make Great COMMUNITIES aims to provide people and organizations that serve local youth with knowledge and resources.

In all, the Foellinger Foundation has provided Great KIDS with more than $2.2 million in funding.

Great KIDS says the grant will allow it to create a Youth and Family Development Academy, which will offer training for organizations that serve youth and families. The academy will serve leaders in areas including faith-based organizations, juvenile justice, nonprofit, education and business. 

The organization will also use the funding to expand its Lecture Series. Great KIDS says the expanded format will connect community leaders with "high-level educational concepts presented by nationally-recognized thought leaders and academics."

"We have the science. We know what works," says Great KIDS founder Judge Charles Pratt. "Now the challenge is to take that knowledge and move it into sound policy and practice in Allen County, allowing us to achieve better outcomes for our children and families."