Community Grants benefit Moravian too
Over the past six years, the Community Grants Program has enabled Moravian students, faculty and staff to serve the community through more than 50 different service projects. The Center for Leadership and Service offers these grants to groups who are interested in serving the community, but need a little financial help in order to accomplish their goals. According to Michelle Schmidt, chair and associate professor of psychology and the director of academic leadership programs, “The goal of this grant program is to create meaningful collaborations between the College and the local community that will impact student learning and development.”
The community benefits through the service it receives from Moravian’s students and staff. Many community organizations, including KidsPeace, the Latino Leadership Alliance and the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, Lehigh Valley Black Educators, the Boys and Girls Club of Bethlehem, and Moravian Village, have received help from Moravian groups to complete different projects. Projects come in many forms—from hosting Halloween for the patients at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital’s children’s unit, to teaching Girl Scouts about careers in computing and technology and more.
Moravian College benefits in a different way. The Community Grants “make it even more possible for students, faculty, and staff to use their knowledge and expertise to reach out to the community in real-world learning,” says Schmidt. She goes on to explain that there is only so much that can be taught in the classroom, and the rest needs to be learned through experience in the real world. For example, students can not completely understand poverty from what they learn in the classroom; they need to go out and work among the impoverished and see it for themselves. The Community Grants Program enable them to do this.
A group does not have to be an official organization or club to receive the grant. As long as there are at least two students, one faculty or staff member, and a community organization involved, any group may apply. In the past, recipients have included professors and their classes, campus organizations such as C3 and the Environmental Coalition, as well as groups of students simply interested in helping the community.
Currently, the following three projects are being funded by the Community Grants Program.
Project 1: Moravian Village Book Club
Faculty: Sarah Johnson, assistant professor of psychology
Students: Megan Gumpper '13, Anika Riaz '14, Haley Skymba '13
Partner: Moravian Village
Project 2: Diversifying Technology: Introducing Computing to Young Women
Faculty: Matthew Lang, assistant professor of computer science
Students: Allison Samson '14, Sarah Boorujy '14, Rachel Johnson '14, Karli Gnehm '14, James Moore '13, Michael Waxmonsky '14, Elise Richards '16, Briana Sheeler '16
Partner: Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, Moravian Academy, Moravian College’s ACM-W
Project 3: Silver Sneakers Health Showcase
Faculty: Michelle Schmidt
Students: Emerging Leaders, Student Nurses Association, Women’s Volleyball Team
Partner: Bethlehem YMCA