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Grants Fund Service-Learning Experiences for UHD Students in the Great Houston area

Monday, February 28, 2011 / UHD Public Affairs

The University of Houston-Downtown's Office of Community Engagement has awarded three internal grants to projects that provide service-learning experiences for UHD students in the community.

Through a competitive process, the Office distributed Community Development Grants valued at nearly $40,000, said Jean Dewitt, director of Community Engagement.

Department of Urban Education - UHD Urban Education students are receiving stipends to tutor students at Stovall Academy, Bethune Academy and Anderson Academy in the Aldine Independent School District. Associate professor Viola M. Garcia submitted the proposal for $28,650 that also includes funds for tutoring supplies and books.

Garcia said, "Feedback from UHD Urban Education students indicates that this has been a very positive experience for them. They are engaged with tutees. They are learning a great deal, and they are pleased about being treated as professionals as they help the elementary students in need of assistance."

Professional Writing Program, Department of English - About $6,480 in grant funding provided a paid internship for a UHD student at Acres Homes Community Development Corp. Visiting assistant professor Richard Ogle submitted the grant application. He said that UHD student Lucha Morales was selected for the position. She is writing and designing pamphlets, fliers and copy for websites and helping write grant applications for Acres Homes as it helps low-income families become first-time homeowners. Morales will also receive academic credit for the internship.

Scholars Academy, College of Sciences and Technology - Scholars Academy students will now have T-shirts and hats that will help identify them as part of the Academy when they are out in the community completing service-learning projects. Mary Jo Parker, director of the Scholars Academy, applied for the grant. She said about 40 percent of the Academy's 154 students enter the program as transfer students. These students are enrolled in a course that has a service-learning component that links them with various community groups and agencies. The grant award of $4,371 covered the cost of T-shirts and hats and is providing a textbook on service learning for Scholars Academy students.

For more information, contact Sue Davis, Executive Director of Public Affairs, UHD, at 713-221-8636 or email

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