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news: Press Releases: 2011 Oct 5: Community Grant Awarded



Media Contacts:
Lisa Murray

Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Grant Helps COMPASS School Spice Up Culinary Arts Program

Boston, MA, October 5, 2011 – The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp., a nonprofit, tax-exempt entity established by attorneys from Brown Rudnick LLP, has awarded a Community Grant to the COMPASS School in Dorchester, Massachusetts, to purchase a Point Of Sale (POS) computer system for a café operated by disabled students as part of vocational program. The new system will replace an outdated cash register, improving overall café efficiency. More importantly, students will learn to use the systems and equipment that are used in most food service establishments, increasing their chances of employment.

COMPASS School provides special education, counseling and vocational services to
economically disadvantaged students who have learning disabilities, cognitive delays, and mental/emotional health diagnoses. The students are referred to COMPASS School by public schools under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act. The school’s primary vocational program, culinary arts, allows for students to gain marketable skills and earn Serv Safe certifications that are attractive to potential employers. The students in the program operate the COMPASS Cafe which provides nutritious and tasty meals to members of the COMPASS community, local residents and representatives of other service agencies. Students rotate through shifts, allowing them to learn and practice all aspects of the restaurant business, i.e. cooks, servers, cashiers, bus staff, etc.

According to grant applicant and culinary arts teacher, Chris Derocher, “While public schools provide funding, that amount is fixed and covers only the services required by the
legislation. We have successfully raised funds to purchase computers and design curriculum that will ensure that students have the computer literacy skills that will be needed in the workplace and/or post-secondary education settings. Now, thanks to The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation, the POS system will enhance the school's efforts to bring technology to all aspects of the students' school day.”

Al Wallis, Executive Director of the Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp., said, " We
are delighted to support the culinary arts program at COMPASS School, which provides
training in marketable skills and education to economically disadvantaged and disabled
students, helping them to be ready to enter the workforce.”

Created to support front-line educators who often do not have a voice in funding decisions, the Community Grants subsidize small, concrete projects, which will improve inner-city education within Boston, Hartford, Providence, New York or Washington DC within the coming year. The Foundation will generally consider grant applications monthly and award grants in an amount totaling not more than $2000 in any one month. The grant applications and an explanation of the program can be found at

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