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Grant helps PCC target, train rural educators
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College is the recipient of a Helping Hands grant from the Northwest Health Foundation. The eight-month, $4,710 grant will support the college’s Early Childhood Education program to provide professional development services to early childhood educators throughout Oregon who are in rural communities and who don’t have local access to any training resources. The project will focus on teachers who serve high concentrations of children who live in poverty and have limited English skills. This grant will also help in the effort to apply for a $2 million federal grant in the spring of 2005 to fund a more comprehensive professional development project."The grant provides a wonderful opportunity for us," said Christyn Dundorf, department chair of PCC’s Early Education and Family Studies, located at PCC’s southwest Portland Sylvania Campus. "This small grant will both improve the quality of the federal grant proposal and strengthen the relationships and understandings amount the project’s consortium members."The money will go to support planning activities, to help develop a framework for joint projects among the partners, such as negotiating agreements among community colleges throughout the state and the partners to develop a streamlined bachelor’s degree. It will also allow PCC to condense professional development efforts, assess needs of early childhood development programs statewide, identify more effective ways to deliver training to smaller colleges and agencies, and develop long-range goals and objectives.College partners include Western Oregon University, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Community Action Organization of Washington County and Columbia Gorge, Blue Mountain, Treasure Valley and Tillamook Bay community colleges.The Northwest Health Foundation is an independent, private foundation and is governed by a 16-member board of directors, led by founding chair Sen. Mark O. Hatfield. The Foundation was founded in 1997 from the net proceeds of the sale of PACC Health Plans and PACC HMO and has awarded more than $15 million to organizations serving the health needs of the region. For more information, contact Dundorf at 503-977-4028.