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news: Press Releases: 2012 August 13: Community Grant Awarded



Media Contacts:      
Lisa Murray                                                                                            

Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Grant Supports Outdoor Summer Program for Hartford Inner-City Students

Boston, MA, August 13, 2012 – The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp., a nonprofit, tax-exempt entity established by attorneys from the law firm of Brown Rudnick LLP, awarded a Community Grant to the SPHERE Summer Program, which provides academic enrichment to 70 Hartford children from low-income families, entering grades 1 - 5. Specifically, the grant was used for a field trip to Nature's Classroom, a non-profit environmental educational outdoor classroom with 15 sites in New England and New York.

Liz Cameron, Program Director, SPHERE Summer Program, and grant applicant, said, “The SPHERE children went to Nature’s Classroom in Colebrook, CT, which has over 500 acres of woodlands offering them a unique, hands-on environmental educational experience. Students learned about geodesic dome construction, meteorology, ecology, map & compass use, and much more. This trip afforded the students a rare opportunity to leave the city and experience an outdoor educational environment where they applied classroom concepts in the natural world.”

According to Al Wallis, Executive Director of the Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp., “Well planned field trips can help students make real-world connections to classroom learning, fostering group reflection on common experience and enhancing retention. We are delighted to support the SPHERE Summer Program and these field trips which engaged students in the wonders of science and nature.”

SPHERE is a five-week full-day program that integrates fun-filled summertime pursuits with educational hands-on activities and classroom academics. SPHERE’s goal is to demonstrate to participants and their families that learning can be achieved through varied creative and recreational activities. The SPHERE program offers unique classes that allow students the one-on-one attention that is often missing in schools, allowing them to explore their potential. By placing the students in a small, personalized learning setting, they are able to take academic and social risks in a supportive environment. SPHERE provides an environment where students are able to learn and utilize new strategies to help them balance the academic and social commitments that await them in their upcoming school year. The SPHERE is a program of Watkinson School, a co-ed independent day school for grades 6-12, and has been enriching Hartford student’s lives for more than 30 years.

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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