Chancellor Awards Grants for Local Projects

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As part of an ongoing effort to strengthen ties between UC Berkeley and the local community, campus officials awarded $225,000 in grants to various city projects Friday, the majority of which are aimed at assisting local public school students.

The Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund's nine-member advisory board awarded more than half of this year's funds to Berkeley youth programs after a two-month review application process. Other programs awarded grants include those improving students relationships with local Greek organization residents, making safety improvements throughout the city and encouraging energy saving practices.

Seven of the 15 recipients are education programs that submitted some of the strongest proposals this year, according to Caleb Dardick, director of the UC Berkeley Local Government and Community Relations office and chair of the board.

"There were (grants) that were education-oriented and focused on closing the achievement gap in Berkeley public schools than in previous years," Dardick said.

According to Dardick, when the fund began awarding grants in 2006, it had a budget of $200,000, which increases by 3 percent annually as per an agreement between the Office of the Chancellor and the city of Berkeley.

The two applicants that received the largest grants of $25,000 each are both youth-oriented; one pairs local minority students with undergraduate students who provide college preparation and another focuses on introducing teenagers to various law enforcement and criminal justice concepts.

The grant awarded to the Police and Life Academy for Youth program gives the department an opportunity to partner with the Berkeley Police Department and Berkeley Boosters Association to instruct teenagers in "conflict resolution," according to UCPD Lt. Adan Tejada.

"We're all really encouraged to see the chancellor invested in the local community," Tejada said.

Education advocates are also looking forward to implementing grant-funded projects, some of which welcome UC Berkeley undergraduates into the classroom to work alongside teachers.

Teresa Barnett, executive director of Community Resources for Science and an organizer of the Community in the Classroom project that received a grant for about $10,000, said she hopes the project will strengthen Berkeley elementary schools' relationship with Cal Teach.

"We are really excited to build on our partnership with Cal Teach and to explore more ways to get undergraduates involved with this work," she said.

The project seeks to support over 200 undergraduate scientists who work with Cal Teach and the Cal Corps Public Service Center to teach "hands-on" science concepts.

Another project, the Green Star Schools Pilot Program, received about $21,000 in grant money and seeks to serve as an example for California schools - in a partnership between UC Berkeley's Center for Cities and Schools and the Green Schools Initiative - by implementing "green" standards at a Berkeley elementary school.

"The whole effort is to help reduce the school's environmental footprint and engage the students and teachers," said Deborah Moore, executive director of the initiative. "We can demonstrate the success of the effort that will attract greater support and greater replication of the program in other schools."

Other grant recipients include a $7,000 program to install lighting on the campus's historic Le Roy Steps and a $20,000 program to implement art workshops in Berkeley middle schools.

Tags: , CHANCELLOR'S COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP FUND, ROBERT BIRGENEAU, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS OFFICE


Contact Matt Burris at [email protected]



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