Chancellor’s fund focuses on education and economic development

New campus-community partnerships focused on education and economic development have won the largest grants this year from the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund at the University of California, Berkeley.

Student tutoring an elementary school child.

Jacque Roby tutoring an elementary school student in Berkeley. Roby, who graduated in spring 2011, was the 2010-2011 BUILD director at Malcolm X Elementary School. (Photo courtesy of Diane Dew, Berkeley Public Education Foundation)

Now in its sixth year, the fund will award more than $260,000 for the 2011-2012 fiscal year to 15 partnerships between local community members and UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff.

“I am pleased that this annual program continues to inspire our campus and local community to partner on a wide variety of innovative, collaborative programs to encourage economic development, promote literacy, art and math education, and improve public safety,” said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau.

Since 2006, the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund has awarded 91 grants totaling over $1.2 million and will continue to award grants annually through 2020. Grants are awarded in two categories: community service programs that enhance the economic, social or cultural well-being of Berkeley residents; and neighborhood-improvement projects that enhance the physical environment of the city’s neighborhoods. This year’s 15 winning projects were selected from a pool of 70 proposals totaling over $1.6 million in funding requests.

The largest education-related grant, $40,000, was awarded to Berkeley United in Literacy Development (BUILD): Equity through Literacy, a partnership between UC-Berkeley’s Cal Corps Public Service Center, Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD), the City of Berkeley, Berkeley Public Education Foundation/Berkeley School Volunteers and the Berkeley Alliance to support after-school literacy tutoring in all 11 Berkeley elementary schools. Grant funding will allow for an expansion of the program and the recruitment of an additional 150 UC Berkeley students in providing reading assistance to 300-400 elementary school students. This will help the program mobilize over 360 tutors serving more than 1100 young readers. This effort seeks to help Berkeley students meet the reading proficiency goals set in the city’s “2020 Vision for Berkeley’s Children and Youth.”

“I applaud the Chancellor’s decision to fund the BUILD: early literacy project,” says Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. “We have a shared interest in ensuring that Berkeley’s children succeed in their education and we are working together to fill a critical gap in literacy support for struggling Berkeley kindergarten-3rd grade readers.”

The fund also awarded a partnership grant of $50,000 to help establish the Berkeley Skydeck Innovation Center, which will boost UC Berkeley’s goal of ensuring that campus innovations contribute to local economic development. The Skydeck, located atop Berkeley’s tallest building at 2150 Shattuck Avenue, will be an incubator for spin-out companies linked to the university and the Berkeley Lab.

“The Berkeley Skydeck Innovation Center provides an exciting environment to grow new technology companies that will in turn bolster Berkeley’s economic vitality and create jobs,” said Michael Cohen, director of the university’s Innovation Ecosystem Development.

This year’s neighborhood improvement projects will be located in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park, downtown, and in several South Berkeley commercial districts.

More information about the 2011-2012 partnership grant recipients can be found online at:

2011-2012 Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund grants were awarded to the proposals listed below; grant award amounts are shown in parentheses:

60 Boxes will design artistic treatments for utility boxes in downtown Berkeley utilizing the talents of campus and Berkeley community artists while reflecting the value of sustainability. ($22,000)

Berkeley City College Service Community brings UC Berkeley and Berkeley City College students together in service to develop leadership opportunities and assist prospective transfer students. ($7,000)

Berkeley Project: Deepening Community Impact leverages the incredible success of the Berkeley Project, a UC Berkeley student group, in engaging students in one-time service projects throughout Berkeley. This year, the Associated Students of the University of California is teaming up with Berkeley Partners for Parks, Rebuilding Together East Bay and the Willard Neighborhood Association for the citywide Berkeley Project Day this fall and Berkeley Project Month next spring. ($23,000)

Berkeley Scholars to Cal partners Stiles Hall and Graduate School of Education faculty who will match African American and Latino UC Berkeley student mentors with low-income students of color in Berkeley’s public schools for comprehensive, ongoing college preparation. ($20,000)

Berkeley Unzipped: The Green Tour Program will provide day-long tours to connect UC Berkeley students to the Berkeley community’s green ventures, neighborhoods, independent retail stores, and show the important role they play in keeping purchasing dollars circulating within the local economy. ($5,000)

The BORP Adaptive Recreation Center Rehab Project will bring together university and community partners to improve a neglected building in Aquatic Park into an Adaptive Recreation Center serving people with disabilities. ($7,485)

BUILD: Equity through Literacy is an exciting new partnership to meet the 2020 Vision goal of 3rd grade reading proficiency for all of Berkeley’s youth as a fundamental step to closing the academic achievement gap. ($40,000)

Community in the Classroom bridges the gap between the expertise of university scientists and the needs of Berkeley elementary school teachers and students for more in-class science education. ($5,000; this amount will be matched by a generous grant from the Berkeley Lab.)

Dental Clinic Expansion and Equipment Need provides the Berkeley Free Clinic and the Suitcase Clinic with new X-ray equipment and training necessary to provide free dental care to its hundreds of clients. ($6,000)

Happy Neighbors is a pilot project designed to improve student-neighbor relationships through new communication and education activities and materials about the negative impacts and consequences related to unruly parties, excessive alcohol use, vandalism and noise. ($7,500)

The Berkeley Skydeck Innovation Center will establish a new incubator in downtown Berkeley to invigorate the local economy, create jobs and bolster the university’s research and education mission. ($50,000)

The Math Art Integration Project places math coaches and teaching artists in all three Berkeley middle schools and forms the CalCREATE student teacher program. ($15,000)

The Police and Life Academy for Youth provides a forum where at-risk Berkeley teens and local police officers participate in an 8-week workshop that addresses teen safety and other issues affecting Berkeley teenagers. ($20,000)

The South Berkeley Public Safety and Beautification Project seeks to improve public safety and public spaces in South Berkeley’s commercial districts. ($16,500)

The UCPD and BPD Crime Analysis Internship Program seeks to increase the crime analysis capability of both police departments through the utilization of UC Berkeley students. ($36,000)