Kalia Bond is 20 years old, about to have her first baby, and a little nervous.

Kalia Bond is 20 years old, about to have her first baby, and a little nervous.

But her anxiety has been eased, she said, by Moms2B, a program that teaches pregnant women everything they need to know about caring for babies, from safe sleeping habits to breast feeding to scheduling health-care appointments.

"I knew some people who went through this program, so it was pretty welcoming," said Bond, who attends the program's weekly classes at Grace Missionary Baptist Church on the Near North Side.

Bond finds Sarah Posten is there to help.

Posten is one of 24 community health workers who are serving disconnected women in eight high-priority neighborhoods that face greater rates of infant mortality and other health issues.

Grace Missionary is located in Weinland Park, part of the 43201 ZIP code, which has the highest number of annual infant deaths in the city, according to numbers from 2010.

Posten is part of the CelebrateOne Community Connector Corps, which assists pregnant and parenting women and families in locating appropriate services in an effort to reduce the death of children younger than 1 years old.

"We are definitely an education-based program," said Posten, who was certified as a connector through the Ohio State University College of Nursing. She is now an employee of Moms2B at Grace Missionary.

The Community Connector Corps was launched this year with a $1.7 million grant from the United Health Foundation. The three-year grant will train an additional 48 community health workers, who will work for various nonprofit organizations serving people in the targeted neighborhoods.

At Moms2B at Grace Missionary, dietitians provide additional assistance.

One of the corps' missions is job development, putting the certified health workers on a path to long-term employment in health-related fields, said Myles Bell, spokesman for Columbus Public Health.

Bell said CelebrateOne tries to recruit from the areas it serves.

"One of the points of the program is to make sure we train women in the high-priority neighborhoods, or anyone in the high-priority neighborhoods, to connect moms-to-be, babies and families to health resources and other social-service resources in their community," he said.

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