TROY – Three faculty members from Troy University's College of Education, Dothan Campus, received the Chancellor's Award of Distinction in Sponsored Programs on Dec. 2 for their project to enable teachers and families to increase literacy rates among 4-year-olds at two area pre-K programs.
The presentation was made during the University's 25th annual Sponsored Programs Recognition Luncheon.
Made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Cynthia Hicks, Pam Wimbish and Dr. Tonya Conner serve as co-directors of "Project Pre-K to K Transition," a program that has created three-year partnerships between the faculty members and Eastside Childcare Learning Center and Pal-A-Roos. The pre-K facilities were chosen based on their location in low-income areas.
In October, about 40 Dothan area children from the two centers were presented with book bags, a copy of the book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and specially designed t-shirts provided by Troy University as a part of the grant. In addition to providing books, Project Pre-K to K Transition will provide a curriculum and support and training for child care providers of 4-year-olds and workshops and home visits for parents/guardians to equip them in ways to promote early learning in the home.
Dr. Bill Grantham, professor of anthropology, received the Director's Award of Distinction for Sponsored Program Success, for his work with the University's participation in the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon. TROY's participation in the project began in 2009, with one student traveling to Israel to take part in the archeological dig.
Since that time, the University has supported student participation in the expedition on an annual basis, and in 2012, officially joined the Leon Levy Foundation, Harvard's Semitic Museum, Boston College and Wheaton College in a consortium to continue an ongoing project, teaming professional archeologist with students and volunteers for annual excavations of the ancient city about 35 miles south of Tel Aviv.
As the excavation site was closing, expedition archaeologist announced in July a significant discovery of what is believed to be the world's first discovered Philistine cemetery, a find in which TROY students played a role.
In all, 214 faculty and staff members were recognized during the luncheon for grant-writing efforts that received nearly $20 million in funding with a little more than $2 million in grant proposals still pending.
"We've come a long way from when we gathered for that first luncheon 24 years ago," Dr. Hawkins said. "That day, we commended 33 of our colleagues for receiving $1.2 million in funding. Today, we celebrate the work of 214 writers and more than $20 million in funding. Life is about relationships, and it is through these Sponsored Program efforts to develop those partnerships that the impact of Troy University continues to grow and be felt in the communities we serve."