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Grants total $12.5 million for July, August

Sept. 29, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Grants to Western Michigan University soared to nearly $12.5 million in July and August, WMU trustees learned at their Sept. 12 meeting.

Research grants accounted for the vast majority of awards, coming in at nearly $11.5 million of the total, with two large awards coming from the U.S. Department of Education and another notable award coming from the Wallace Foundation.

A new Department of Education grant of just more than $4 million went to Dr. Esther Newlin-Haus, project director, and Drs. Kristal Ehrhardt and Shaila Rao, associate and assistant professor, respectively, of special education and literacy studies. The grant will fund an early literacy program reaching 350 Kalamazoo children at Kalamazoo Head Start centers, the Learning Village and the YWCA Children's Center by creating a print-rich environment and through professional development, family involvement and community partnership efforts.

A second Department of Education grant, this one for more than $2.7 million, continues the efforts of WMU's GEAR UP program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) directed by Dr. Joseph Kretovics, professor of teaching, learning and educational studies. The Wallace Foundation grant, a renewal award of $1.8 million, went to Drs. Jianping Shen and Van Cooley, professors of teaching, learning and educational studies, to continue to develop a system of aligned education leadership in urban school districts to use data more effectively to improve student performance.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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