Successful Kean Program Receives IDEA Award Funding


The State of New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) has awarded Kean University supplemental funding to provide additional programming and instruction through the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21CCLC) program at William O. Krumbiegel Middle School in Hillside. The program, called “Kean University’s Learning Adventures” or KULA, operates after school during the year and in the summer. Over 150 students in grades 6 through 8 participate.

During its first year of operation, the KULA program served 26 students with special needs. Most of the students have learning disabilities or mild cognitive impairment. Some have significant behavioral and social/emotional issues. 

Sharon Towler, KULA Project Director, decided to apply for a supplemental IDEA award to allow the program to take a more proactive approach in developing behavioral and instructional plans to better serve these students. She applied for funding for additional instructional staff members who would be able to target student instruction to identified needs. 

The IDEA supplement award will fund two Lead Teachers for individualized instruction and parent consultation for students with disabilities. The Lead Teachers will provide professional development to other instructional staff in meeting the needs of students with disabilities. The award will also fund four cultural trips.

Kean University Learning Adventures is a unique after school learning experience. Career Exploration, self-discovery and student empowerment are the cornerstones of the program. KULA challenges students to apply their academic skills to real-life and project-based learning experiences.

All KULA students complete the NJ Career Awareness Navigator Profile (NJCAN). Using this tool each student develops an on-line profile of their career goals and a plan of action for achieving these goals. Parents and family members are invited to sessions to attend sessions and participate in the planning.  Parent and students are encouraged to “Think College Early” and workshops are offered to help them prepare for college entry. 


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