Eighteen community projects win grants through chancellor’s partnership fund

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A summer reading program designed to prevent “summer slide,” a mentoring program for underserved Latino third- to ninth-graders, a project involving community kids in improving local watersheds and a new welcome kiosk for the soon-to-be-renovated downtown Berkeley BART station are just four of the 18 projects that will receive a total of $250,000 through the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund, under grants announced this week.

Entering its 10th year, the fund aims to improve the quality of life in Berkeley through community service and neighborhood improvements. Since 2006, it has awarded $2.5 million and supported 149 partnerships. Often, the projects pair Berkeley students with people in the community who could benefit from help with things like reading, math, science, economic self-sufficiency and the arts, among others.

“We are proud to support these amazing campus-community partnerships that are doing so much for the greater good in our city through programs and projects for children, youth and adults,” said Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. “Because the grants both support and leverage the collective leadership, passion and energy of our students, faculty, staff and community partners, this is one of the most valuable and important investments the university makes in the Berkeley community.”

Strawberry Creek Watershed Action Project

The Strawberry Creek Watershed Action Project engages community kids to help improve local streams.

For example, the Berkeley Public Service Center’s BUILD program is the lead partner in “Growing Summer Reading: A City-wide Partnership to Prevent Summer Slide,” which will provide books and literacy mentors for Berkeley public school children in summer care programs.
Another example is the campus’s the “Mentoring for Academic Success” program, which the campus’s Multicultural Institute is leading with the student group Las Hermanas.

A third is the Strawberry Creek Watershed Action Project, which focuses on environmental sustainability and builds the schools’ science curriculum by allowing them to adopt their local watershed and use it as an educational resource.

“I would like to thank Chancellor Dirks for his continuing commitment to strengthening the partnership between the university and the community,” said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. “The Partnership Fund is creating a powerful legacy, bringing the university mission of public service to life while making Berkeley a stronger, healthier and more vibrant community.”

The BART station kiosk project is an example of neighborhood development projects that received fund grants, and won praise from the Downtown Business Association.

“UC Berkeley is an active partner in the DBA’s leadership to strengthen the economic and social vitality of our city,” said association CEO John Caner. “The partnership fund’s investment in a new public information kiosk at BART Plaza is essential to our efforts to welcome visitors from the region, the nation, and the world to Berkeley.”

The full list of 2016‐17 community partnership grant recipients can be read here (PDF). More information about the fund, including its annual reports, can be found on the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund website.