Spotlight : Grants
White House funding
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy awarded a $625,000 Drug-Free Communities grant to the Paterson Coalition Against Substance Abuse (P-CASA), a collaborative effort between Montclair State Family and Child Studies specialists and the community. The five-year grant will support efforts to prevent substance abuse among teens. Family and Child Studies Professor Robert Reid founded the program in September 2008. The coalition works closely with teens, parents, church and community groups and schools to reduce youth access to alcohol and tobacco products and to support stricter regulation and oversight of establishments that sell them.
“Prevention is the most effective tool we have to reduce the terrible consequences associated with drug use among young people,” Reid says.
Upward Bound ensures success
The successful outcomes of Montclair State’s Upward Bound program – 95 percent finish high school and 90 percent graduate from college within four to six years – have resulted in more than $3.5 million in federal funding over the last 14 years. The U.S. Department of Education recently renewed funding for another five years.“Our goal is to generate the skills and motivation these students need to complete their post-secondary education,” says Health Careers Director Donna Lorenzo, who’s directed the University’s Upward Bound program since 1999. “My motto is ‘When you graduate, not if you graduate.’ ”
Upward Bound provides educational support to more than 50 – most of who are low-income and first-generation college bound – enrolled in grades 9-12 from East Side High School and John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, N.J.
University faculty and staff, instructors from local school districts and guest speakers offer supportive classroom, tutoring, counseling, mentoring, SAT prep and personal development activities. “These kids are the best,” says Lorenzo. “I’m so pleased help them succeed.”
Engaging the community
The University’s Environment, Education and Community Outreach (EECO) program is currently in its third year of a $600,000 grant by the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service and is a collaboration between Montclair State University’s New Jersey School of Conservation, Service-Learning and Community Engagement Program and Center for Student Involvement. Student AmeriCorps members from the Outreach program perform 1,700 hours of community service each year for public schools, non-profits and civic organizations and develop personal and professional skills.
NSF funds science and math teacher grants
New Jersey has long faced a shortage of qualified Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers in its high-need school districts. Now, thanks to two National Science Foundation (NSF) awards, Montclair State will prepare science and math teachers to fill this gap.
Douglas Larkin of the Department of Secondary and Special Education and Sandra Adams, biology and molecular biology professor and science education coordinator for the College of Science and Mathematics have received a five-year, $1.4-million NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program grant to recruit, prepare and support 30 new science teachers for New Jersey’s high-need K-12 districts.
“This program provides 10 scholarships that cover in-state tuition and fees for junior and senior biology, chemistry, earth science and physics majors in the Teacher Education Program,” says Adams.Noyce scholars must commit to teaching two years for each year of support they receive – or four years total. They also enjoy school-based field experiences, a summer career component and enriched mentoring from faculty and staff.
Adams, Larkin and co-principal investigator John Berger of the County College of Morris have begun to recruit the 10 students who will receive scholarships next year. “We’ll accept applicants in all of the areas, but are focusing on physics and chemistry – two of the most difficult-to-staff certifications in the state,” says Larkin, who is coordinating program research that could point the way to a more effective preparation of science teachers. Mathematics professors Steven Greenstein and Erin Krupa in collaboration with Jennifer Robinson, director of the Center of Pedagogy, have also received NSF Noyce funding for a two-year project to develop a new enhanced degree program leading to a BA in mathematics with a concentration in K-6 teaching.
“The project responds to decades of appeals for the increased preparation of elementary mathematics teachers,” says Krupa. “It will be the first four-year STEM degree with elementary teaching certification at Montclair State.”
They are recruiting current students interested in math and elementary education for an innovative teacher education program featuring urban teaching experiences, inquiry-oriented coursework and research opportunities. Once the program is developed, says Greenstein, the team will apply for a Noyce Scholarship Grant to fund participating students.
Recovery Fund supports NJ News Commons’ coverage
The New Jersey Recovery Fund awarded Montclair State’s New Jersey News Commons a grant to support coverage of SuperstormSandy recovery efforts. The News Commons, an initiative of the University’s Center for Cooperative Media, is a hub for hyper-local news websites and one of 27 grantees of the Recovery Fund, part of the Community Foundation of New Jersey.The grant is part of a larger effort aimed at averting the type of devastation caused by Sandy through formulating better planning policies, informing and engaging the public and fostering healing of impacted communities through the arts. The News Commons grant will support micro-grants and training for citizen journalists to inform and engage the public, particularly in underserved areas throughout the state.