Grove City College recently received a $100,000 grant from The Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust that will support efforts to serve children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Grove City area.
The College will use the bulk of grant to create opportunities for inclusion beyond the classroom through community outreach and engagement programming for the disabled, their families, teachers and the community at large. The balance will support scholarships earmarked for students pursuing careers in special education.
“Schools have made great strides with inclusion of diverse learners,” Dr. Constance Nichols ’93, chair of the Education Department, said. “With this generous grant we want to create greater opportunities to fully engage those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in community life.”
Over the three-year life of the grant, funds will be awarded to students and campus groups in a competitive process in which they’ll present their programming ideas to a panel of advisers to evaluate. Winning teams will implement their ideas with support from faculty advisors and community organizations that partner with the College.
Nichols, who notes that the College has a track record of supporting students with disabilities and their families through the work of student teachers and campus groups, sees this as a way for the College to “use our gifts to serve others.” She envisions students from a variety of disciplines and with a range of talents bringing different perspectives and new ideas to the table.
“We want to provide a greater connection to the community for individuals and families after school, in the summer and in the workplace. We want to educate the public about what is possible,” she said. “It’s not that communities don’t want to be inclusive, but they often don’t know how or lack resources to implement inclusive practices.”
“There is a need for more inclusive extracurricular activities for children and young adults in our community – and for more teachers certified in special education. Grove City College is grateful for the support of The Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust so it can provide education, outreach and engagement for children with disabilities and their families,” Kelly Conger, director of Foundation and Corporate Relations for the College, said.
The grant's support for the College’s Special Education Certification Scholarship Endowment will help ease the financial burden for education graduates and benefit areas most in need. “With less educational debt to consider, students may be able to take opportunities where vulnerable populations live – inner cities, remote rural areas and developing nations,” Conger said.
Grove City College offers a Bachelor of Science degree in preK-8 special education with preK-4 elementary education that prepares students to be impactful leaders and skilled educators through specific coursework, field experiences and student teaching.
To find out more about the Department of Education at Grove City College, visit www.gcc.edu/educ.
To support the College’s outreach program or scholarship endowment, call 866-386-3422 or visit www.gcc.edu/giving.