EWING, NJ – The College of New Jersey has officially wrapped up another successful year of Community Engaged Learning and working with the greater Trenton community on a variety of issues, including youth development and education.
This year, TCNJ received a $25,000 grant from the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation in support of the Bonner Community Scholars Program. The money, which included a $5,000 increase from last year’s award, supported the Wells Fargo Bonner Community Scholars Team. The team of 18 Bonner Community Scholars and at least 10 regular Bonner Volunteers work on a weekly basis to improve the academic skills and scores of students at Trenton Central High School, Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School, the G. Grant Academic Sports Academy after school program, and the Isles Youth Institute. The team also works to motivate and mentor students throughout their academic career, whether it is helping improve their literacy, or aiding students with their college applications.
Like many urban school districts in New Jersey, Trenton schools face numerous challenges. The Wells Fargo Bonner Community Scholars Team works with students at Trenton Central High School in an effort to help them improve their grades, learn new life skills, pass the state HPSA test, a graduation requirement in New Jersey, and other overall needs of Trenton Central High School. At the middle school, Bonners engage students in “read aloud and respond” programs in an effort to increase their literacy skills along with homework assistance and targeted tutoring. Finally, at ISLES YouthBuild Institute, the team focuses on the development of life skills and assistance with the college selection and application process.
In addition, the Wells Fargo Bonner Education team will provide Trenton students with a variety of enrichment activities on TCNJ’s campus and in the community. This includes the Youth Development Institute, in which Bonners organize TCNJ First Year Seminar classes to deliver workshops on for youth from the local middle schools during an all day event on the College’s campus.
The Wells Fargo Bonner Education Team will help the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation continue in its mission to build strong and vibrant communities, improve the quality of life and make a positive difference. In 2011, the Foundation invested $213.5 million in 19,000 nonprofits nationwide, which included $67.8 million invested in 8,000 educational programs and schools around the United States.
The Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement is responsible for mobilizing faculty, students and staff to help sustain and advance the communities in which we live; in other words, to find mission-consistent ways to improve the quality of life for all. It cultivates the common ground that exists between the educational mission of the College and the needs of non-profit organizations and neighborhoods. It does so by creating teaching and learning opportunities that simultaneously build the capacity of TCNJ students and these groups and communities. Students become more knowledgeable, skilled and civic minded—while community partners gain additional resources to effectuate positive change.
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