CAMDEN, NJ — As teachers, staff and faculty prepare for the next academic year, many expect costs to mount while preparing to teach in the midst of a pandemic.
Schools in Camden — including district, charter, and renaissance — will be eligible for up to $100,000 in grants to help them in that undertaking, the Camden Education Fund announced Tuesday.
“Camden’s educators are eager to safely welcome students back next year, and we are proud to support them in making that possible,” said Camden Education Fund Board Chair Falynn Miligan
The Open Doors/Safe Classrooms grants, according to the non-profit, can cover operations, academic support, socio-emotional support, family engagement, and ensuring equity.
Applications were made available June 1 and will close July 2.
“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,” said Superintendent Katrina McCombs. “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.”
Naeha Dean, executive director for the Camden Education Fund, said schools in the city have been creative and collaborative to solve problems during the pandemic and she expects they will continue to do so next school year.
"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,” she said.
The non-profit said the grant provides flexibility as institutions prepare to adhere to ever-changing statewide COVID-19 guidance over the congregation of students.
“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,” said Mayor Frank Moran in a statement. “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.”