UNION, N.J. – The Kean University Learning Adventures (KULA) program, an afterschool program that serves more than 135 middle school students in Hillside, was awarded a $250,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Education. The New Jersey Afterschool/Summer Program grant supports the enhancement of summer learning for students in the areas of science, technology and mathematics (STEM), career exploration and community service.
“KULA’s afterschool program provides a safe and structured environment for enriching the academic, social, and emotional health of our youth,” said Anthony Pittman, Ph.D., acting dean of Kean’s College of Education. “We are grateful to be partnered with Hillside Public Schools as the district endeavors to increase the proficiency of its students.”
The grant will be used to expand KULA’s existing four-week summer program. Students in grades six through eight from the Walter O. Krumbiegel Middle School in Hillside who are currently participating in the KULA program will receive three additional weeks of instruction and hands-on learning opportunities at Kean’s New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) and Makerspace.
KULA is a New Jersey-licensed Century Community Learning Center, a five-year funded program that serves students in the summer as well as throughout the school year. Academic support and enrichment activities include homework assistance and STEM and visual and performing arts curriculum, and well as mentoring and field trips. In line with the state education department’s grant requirements, KULA works to enhance students' career and college readiness, decrease summer learning loss and increase positive student behavior while engaging parents.
“The expansion of the KULA summer program for middle school students will continue the science, technology and mathematics theme with an additional focus on the arts through explorations in music appreciation, cultural dance, playwriting, drama and theatre production, robotics, cooking and kinetics,” said Sharon Towler, Ph.D., KULA program director. “As funding, interest and participation continue to rise, KULA will be able to provide more students with an innovative and beneficial way to spend their time.”
The Kean University Learning Adventures (KULA) program, an afterschool program that serves more than 135 local middle school students, was awarded a $250,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Education to enhance summer learning for students.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2017