The Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence awarded $40,000 worth of grants to three local Providence schools last month, despite a lack of a significant increases to the fund’s endowment since May 2009.
The fund is a response to recommendations in the 2006 final report of the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, which studied Brown’s historical connections to the slave trade. In addition to serving the education of local students, the report also recommended a memorial to the slave trade and the continued study of slavery.
The fund is designed “to help meet the urgent needs of the children in the Providence school system who are seeking to improve their lives through education,” according to the University’s official response.
To accomplish this goal, the University has pledged to create a $10 million endowment in order to support the Providence school system in “perpetuity,” according to Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations Marisa Quinn. According to Quinn, the fund has raised $1.5 million so far — a number unchanged since a 2009 press release.
Despite the lack of fundraising since 2009, the fund will still be able to provide grants, Quinn said.
The awards so far came from current-use gifts, Quinn wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. As the fund establishes an endowment, awards will come from the endowment’s payout, she wrote.
Quinn said she is still “optimistic” that the fund will reach its goal of $10 million, saying that different funds raise money at different speeds.
The grantees are Paul Cuffee School, Classical High School and Nathan Bishop Middle School, and the $40,000 distributed among the three schools brings the total amount disbursed by the fund to $217,000, Quinn said.
The majority of the grant money will go toward books, with the $20,000 gift to Nathan Bishop designated for music equipment and new fiction books to help rebuild the school’s library, which has not received a new book since 2006, according to an August University press release. According to the same press release, the $10,000 gift to Paul Cuffee School will purchase 500 science books, while the last grant will update the Classical High School “college room,” a place for students preparing to apply to college.
Other projects supported by the fund in the past include $118,000 towards providing Providence Public School students with graphing calculators.
August’s grants were the third round of awards given out, with the initial gifts — the calculators — bestowed in May 2009. The second round was presented in December.
Rewards are usually around $10,000, a size that might have scared off teachers who might be interested in funding smaller projects, like classroom renovations, a member of the fund’s oversight committee told The Herald in December. Applications for the next round of grants, to be handed out in the spring, end Feb. 15.