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As New Jersey schools make plans to reopen in September, Camden is getting some extra help from the Camden Education Fund through its Open Doors/Safe Classrooms grant program. All Camden public school networks, including district, charter, and renaissance schools, will be eligible for up to $100,000 to support efforts to safely reopen. CEF Executive Director Naeha Dean explains, “schools can use the funds to cover additional needs across a wide variety of areas, including operations, academic support, social and emotional support and family engagement.”
Camden’s schools have demonstrated an ability to innovate and collaborate, and I’m confident that they will find creative ways to address the current challenges and provide a safe and rigorous learning environment for students. Whether it’s developing multiple schedules to allow for social distancing or securing mental health services to help students cope with heightened stress, educators are working incredibly hard to meet the needs of their students, staff, and families.
CEF Board Chair Falynn Milig added,“Camden’s schools have made great strides over the last few years, and our mission is to do whatever it takes to keep that momentum going. Camden’s educators are eager to safely welcome students back next year, and we are proud to support them in making that possible.”
Grants may be used for any of the following purposes: operations, academic support, socioemotional support, family engagement, and ensuring equity. The grant program is structured in a way to provide flexibility as schools use the summer to develop plans and respond to evolving guidance.
“I’m grateful that philanthropic leaders like the Camden Education Fund are stepping up to support this city during such an unprecedented crisis. Camden’s progress over the past decade is built on a foundation of its improved public schools. We can’t let the pandemic set us back, and with the support of generous programs like the Open Doors/Safe Classroom Grant, I don’t believe it will,” said Mayor Frank Moran.
In addition to this grant program, the Camden Education Fund has also supported schools’ COVID response by providing $370,000 in grants to provide laptops to students.
“As a district we are committed to providing safe schools, built for 21st century success. This means providing safe and clean learning environments for students and staff. We welcome the opportunity for additional resources to help us deliver on our promise to provide a high quality learning environment despite such challenging circumstances,” said State District Superintendent Katrina McCombs.