Rubin Community Fellows Program Announces 2010 Grant Recipients

July 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm
By Jamie Tario

Troy, NY - The Louis & Hortense Rubin Community Fellows Program has awarded $39,000 in grants to four community projects in Rensselaer County that aim to make a difference on issues as diverse as childhood obesity, search and rescue, inner city school education, and independent media as an outlet for youth in troubled neighborhoods.

Combating childhood obesity

The Italian Community Center Charitable Foundation of Troy, NY, Inc. is offering a six-week program called Cooking $marts for low-income mothers of children ages 5 17 to give them the tools to shop and prepare nutritious, child-friendly meals on a budget, and to practice and model healthy lifestyle habits. Also collaborating are the Rensselaer County Department of Social Services and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Sonya Irish Hauser, Ph.D., assistant professor of nutrition at The Sage Colleges, is developing and providing the curriculum for the program, as well as appropriate recipes, and will deliver the program and conduct research and evaluation components.

Making local search-and-rescue resource a "must call"

A group of volunteer search-and-rescue technicians and their highly trained bloodhounds called Rensselaer County Search and Rescue are available to provide free assistance to local agencies in wilderness, urban or suburban searches for lost and abducted children, lost hikers and hunters, Alzheimer's patients, and fugitives from the law. Though they are nationally known and called upon frequently by law enforcement agencies in other states, awareness of their services in the Capital Region has dwindled.

Fred Alm, an adjunct faculty member in marketing at Hudson Valley Community College, will help them conduct a marketing and awareness campaign in order to increase the number of calls they get each year and improve outcomes for lost or missing people in Rensselaer County.

Tackling obstacles to student success in inner-city schools

Jeanne Shub, Ph.D., educational psychologist and co-author of Ready to Learn: How to Overcome Social and Behavioral Issues in the Classroom (Heinemann, 2006) is leading the charge to develop a training manual and video for primary and pre-K teachers to replicate the successful Ready to Learn Program that helps inner city children flourish in school.

The program will first be offered in the School 2 in Troy, with the support of Troy Public Schools and the Commission on Economic Opportunity for the Greater Capital Region Inc., with the goal of being offered in other Troy schools in the next few years.

Shub and Jennifer Prendergast, kindergarten teacher at School 2, will train teachers how to use the program. Laura Germano and Antoinette Howard, instructors in teacher preparation at Hudson Valley Community College, will assist with development and evaluation of the training materials, and Robert Racette, director of Viking Video Technologies at HVCC will create the training video.

Giving youth in a tough neighborhood a voice and vision

The Media Alliance, which operates from The Sanctuary for Independent Media in North Troy, is offering a community arts project aiming to teach multimedia skills to youth in a troubled and underserved area of North Central Troy by offering a youth media summer camp and peer training program in media production. The program, called Youth Media Sanctuary, is in partnership with Missing Link Street Ministry and Branda Miller, professor of media arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The Louis & Hortense Rubin Community Fellows Fund is a cooperative venture of The Sage Colleges, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Hudson Valley Community College, Emma Willard School, and participating agencies of Rensselaer County, and is administered by Sage.

To learn more about the annual grant program and how to apply, visit: www.sage.edu/rubin