Bonner Foundation Awards $8,000 for Service-Learning Projects

For Immediate Release: 
Jan 14 2009

Contact: Kathy Ball, Bonner Scholars Program Director, 304-384-6009
Jesse Call, AmeriCorps VISTA, 304-384-6009

Athens, W.Va. – The Bonner House for Campus-Wide Community Service at Concord University is pleased to announce the awarding of $8,000 in stipends to faculty and staff members for community outreach projects and service-learning initiatives at both its Athens and Beckley campuses. These eight different projects include working with international economic development, diversity, education, child and family advocacy, community development, youth and emergency preparedness.

The awarding of these funds comes as Concord University is taking time to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through his challenge that “everyone can be great because everyone can serve,” and to answer the call of President-Elect Barack Obama’s Renew America Together initiative.

Funding for the service-learning stipends was provided through an enrichment grant from the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation of Princeton, N.J. At first, the University was offering $5,000 on a competitive basis to faculty and staff members through stipends of $1,000 each.

“We were very pleased to receive eight proposals, and all of them were good proposals with merit. So, rather than turn down funding for three of them, we submitted a request to the Bonner Foundation to be allowed to reallocate some of our grant funds. They approved our request,” said Kathy Ball, director of the Bonner Scholars Program.

In the past, the Bonner program was able to award some money to projects of this nature. However, this will be the largest disbursement for the program.

“We’ve been able to fund some activities in the past, but never this many at once,” said Ball.

“We hope to be able to continue funding for these service-learning class activities and projects and to keep community outreach at the forefront on our campus,” she added.

The following is a listing of the service-learning projects awarded, in the following format: faculty member name, department and campus, and then a description of the funded project.

Dr. Alice Hawthorne-Allen, Natural Sciences-Athens Campus
Concord University students will lead workshops on astronomy education to children in local children in schools, home school programs and local youth organizations.

Mr. Steve Barrett, Athletics Department-Athens Campus
Concord University Mountain Lion soccer players will provide coaching and mentoring at a local youth soccer camp.

Dr. Joe Beckett, Education and Human Performance-Athens Campus
Upper-level athletic training students will teach students, faculty and staff at local schools basic first aid, CPR, injury prevention and management and career preparation.

Dr. Ellen Darden, Social Sciences-Beckley Center
Social work students will work in small groups to do a formal needs assessment to determine how to make a specific community a “better place” and then work together in their groups to meet those needs.

Dr. Amberyl Malkovich, Languages & Literature-Athens Campus
Concord University students will host a literacy festival with local schoolchildren to introduce them to diversity through literature.

Ms. Lori Pace, Social Sciences-Beckley Center
Beckley Center students will host fundraisers for Just for Kids, a local child advocacy organization, and initiate a program to educate CU students and local social workers and teachers on identifying and responding to victims of child abuse and sexual assault.

Dr. John David Smith, Social Sciences-Athens Campus
As part of a new course on family law, students will work with a local child or family advocacy organization or court of their choosing in order to learn the issues facing families in the region.

Dr. Susan Williams, Social Sciences-Athens Campus
Recreation and Tourism Management students will work together on an international economic development project for a Russian village developing tourism business plans alongside students, faculty, and staff of Mari State Technical University in Yoshkar-Ola, Russia.