by Sue Stanton and Marian Slaughter
In May 2013, CUE and Professor Gloria Ladson-Billings (UW-Madison, Department of Curriculum and Instruction) were awarded for full funding from the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment for a grant entitled, “Engaging to Close the Gap: Community School District, University.” This competitive grant program is open to University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty, staff and students and is designed to foster public engagement and advance the Wisconsin Idea (the principle that the university should improve peoples’ lives beyond the classroom). CUE’s proposal also received funds through the Morgridge Match Grant Program; this program funds projects which focus on engaged scholarship at the UW-Madison. The combined awards totaled almost $100,000 over two years.
The “Engaging to Close the Gap” grant has two components. The first objective focuses on working with three Madison neighborhood centers to develop after school youth programs to engage K-8 students in activities that stimulate their intellectual, academic and career endeavors. The second component of the grant will focus on supporting site-specific family engagement programming that will build the capacity of marginalized families to constructively engage with the MMSD schools to produce more successful academic outcomes for their children.
Currently, partners in this project include: the Vera Court Neighborhood Center, the Family Voices program at the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, the Meadowood Neighborhood Center, the Madison Metropolitan School District, the City of Madison and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Madison.
CUE’s roles in this project are varied. They include finding and connecting resources, recruiting necessary players, teaching courses, evaluating initiatives, disseminating information, planning and coordinating and creating spaces and opportunities to share best practices.
As the Baldwin Grant is a two-year award, we look forward to providing regular updates of the various program activities through the CUE Newsletter. So stay tuned! ￭