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8 W.Va. communities get abandoned buildings grants
Associated Press - 2/14/2014
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A program based at West Virginia University has awarded technical assistance grants to eight communities aimed at redeveloping abandoned and dilapidated buildings.
The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center awarded the $10,000 grants to efforts in Fairmont, Kenova, Middleway, Point Pleasant, Ronceverte, Wellsburg, Weston and Wheeling.
Funding for the assistance center's BAD Buildings Program is provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation through the WVU Foundation.
Program manager Luke Elser says the grants will provide expertise to help communities identify and research abandoned buildings, create redevelopment plans and overcome major obstacles in turning problem properties into community resources.
City Theatre Receives $118,000 Grant from Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
pittsburgh.broadwayworld.com (July 30, 2013)
City Theatre (CityTheatreCompany.org) has received an $118,500 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to fund arts education outreach in West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania schools. This grant, along with a new partnership with West Liberty University's Center for Arts and Education, will facilitate the theatre's Young Playwrights Program, which features professional development workshops, in-class playwriting workshops, and field trips to City Theatre's South Side location to experience live, professional, high-caliber theatre.
City Theatre Young Playwrights is a comprehensive, dynamic approach to arts education that has been serving teachers, students, and the Pittsburgh community for nearly fifteen years. In the Young Playwrights model, a City Theatre teaching artist is paired with the classroom teacher-creating the artistic team for an exciting partnership that guides students through the playwriting process during classroom workshops.
The workshops are student-centered, involving young people in hands-on activities that incorporate the class as a whole and stress the idea of an ensemble environment. The artistic team engages students in writing and revising activities, including writing conferences and theatre techniques such as improvisation and performance. All subject areas and life experiences are material the students can shape artistically to create an original one-act play.
"An integral part of Young Playwrights' mission is to provide middle and high school students with a new outlet in which to establish their voices and express themselves creatively," says Kristen Link, Director of Education & Accessibility. "Through our playwriting program, young people not only learn a new craft, but also discover different ways to think critically and connect to their fellow peers."
"Receiving this grant from the Benedum Foundation will afford us the opportunity to expand our educational programming to regions that currently lack the resources to provide meaningful experiences within the crafts of theatre and playwriting. We look forward to connecting with many new schools, teachers, and students," says Kristen Link.
The mission of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation is to encourage human development in West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania through strategically placed charitable resources.
City Theatre's 39th season begins this fall. Located on Pittsburgh's historic South Side, City Theatre specializes in new plays, commissioning and producing work by playwrights including Adam Rapp, Jeffrey Hatcher, Theresa Rebeck, and Christopher Durang. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, Managing Director Mark R. Power, and a 45-member Board of Directors, City Theatre's mission is to provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays of substance and ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience.
Benedum Foundation Announces Election of New Chair and Addition of Two New Trustees
PITTSBURGH (June 13, 2013) - The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation announced that Paul G. Benedum, Jr., has stepped down as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation. At its meeting on June 11, 2013, the Trustees elected Senator Lloyd G. Jackson II to that position. Mr. Benedum will continue to serve as a Trustee of the Foundation, a position he has held for 36 years, including 22 as Chair.
Mr. Jackson, President of Jackson Gas Company, a natural gas production firm in Hamlin, West Virginia, has a long record of service. A former West Virginia State Senator, he served as Chair of the Senate’s Education Committee for eight years, and is currently a member of the West Virginia Board of Education.
Senator Jackson’s five-year term as Chair of the Board of Trustees of West Virginia Wesleyan College concluded in 2012. He also has served as a board member of the Southern Regional Education Board in Atlanta, the College Board in New York, the College Summit and Kids Count in Charleston, and currently serves on the Board of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, and West Virginia: A Vision Shared, the State’s economic development collaborative.
In addition, the Benedum Foundation added two new Trustees: Greg Babe, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Parween Sultany Mascari, of Morgantown, West Virginia.
Mr. Babe retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of Bayer Corporation, and President and CEO of Bayer MaterialScience LLC, in 2012. He has served as Chair of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development’s Executive Committee, as well as its Board of Directors. Mr. Babe was a co-chair of the Environmental Team during the planning phase of Power of 32, the 32‑county four‑state economic development effort, and continues as a member of its Implementation Committee. He is currently a director of Matthews International and serves on the West Virginia University Foundation’s Board of Directors and the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Energy Advisory Council. A native of West Virginia, Mr. Babe holds a Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia University and an honorary doctorate of science from WVU’s Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.
Ms. Mascari is an attorney with Farmer Cline & Campbell PLLC in Morgantown. In addition, she is the owner of WV Market stores in Morgantown and at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, which feature West Virginia‑made products, and co-owner with her husband of Madeleine’s Restaurant in Morgantown, specializing in locally‑grown food and local music. Her commitment to the region includes service on the Boards of the Snowshoe Foundation, the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, and the I-79 Development Council. She is a member of the Monongalia County Bar Association and the Visiting Committee of the West Virginia University College of Law. She was a founding member of both Generation West Virginia and Generation Morgantown, young professional organizations serving the State. Ms. Mascari is a graduate of West Virginia University’s College of Law and holds MBA and Bachelor of Arts degrees from WVU.
The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation was established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum, natives of West Virginia, as a memorial to their only child, Claude Worthington Benedum, who died in 1918 at the age of 20. The Foundation is a regional foundation focusing primarily on West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania. For more information on the Foundation, please see: www.benedum.org.
Schools to use grants to create 'colorful, interesting spaces'
June 27, 2013 6:01 am
By Debra Duncan /Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Two foundations are giving $500,000 to 25 school districts in southwestern Pennsylvania, and most of the schools will use the money to create places where students can employ the latest technology to learn.
Each district will receive a $20,000 grant from the Grable and Benedum foundations. Many will use the grants to redesign an area of the library or a classroom where students can gather to focus on projects related to what is called STEAM -- science, technology, engineering, art and math.
The emphasis on gathering spaces in this year's awards will foster collaborative 21st century learning, said Gregg Behr, executive director of the Grable Foundation.
"There's a new focus in education on creating colorful, interesting spaces where teens can hang out, mess around and geek out," he said. "You create a space where they can go with their friends and peers and make it cool and attractive.
"Maybe the students are using smartphones, tablets or laptops. And there are mentors there, whether they are librarians or teachers, to help foster the learning process," Mr. Behr said.
He said research shows that this generation of students is wired differently to learn. They love the newest technology gadgets, no matter what they are, so educators are finding ways to take advantage of that.
"Technology is just the tool to learning," he said.
"I remember watching Fred Rogers as a child," he said. "On the one hand, he was the nice grandfather, but he was really a 1950s geek. He saw that children were attracted to TV, so he was just taking advantage of the newest technology -- TV -- to help use it for a good purpose.
"It's a mistake just to focus on providing our schools with technology; the focus needs to be on learning," he said.
Elizabeth Forward High School, for example, has used a Grable Foundation grant to repurpose an area of the library where students can gather.
It's the same concept as the YOUmedia labs at several Carnegie Library branches, where new technology is available for teens, Mr. Behr noted. Students can access a TV studio or sound studio to create their own segments or music videos.
"It's become the hub of activity at the Elizabeth Forward High this year," he said.
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit is administering the STEAM grants. Eighty school districts in the region applied for them for the coming year.
The overall goal is to support innovative learning ideas and encourage students to use technology in cross-discipline projects.
"We really fund what the superintendents tell us they need," Mr. Behr said.
James Denova, vice president of the Benedum Foundation, said the STEAM grants "seed the inspiration and creativity of classroom teachers. Too often, the innovative ideas of frontline educators are overlooked by large scale, top down initiatives. Grant programs like this allow fresh ideas to be tested at the classroom or building level."
Rosanne Javorsky, assistant director at the AIU, said, "We could have easily funded 50 districts this year. Early in the STEAM grants, schools applied to buy things, such as iPads. But now many applicants have the vision to use them to engage and motivate learning."
The AIU had seven criteria for rating the grants, including how they would engage students in learning and also embody a STEAM component.
"In most cases, an English teacher, a biology teacher, or a librarian will facilitate the learning in these spaces," she said. "Sometimes the high school will be open for the kids before or after school. Oftentimes, the kids want to access these spaces long after the school day is over, which is the great thing."
Collaboration is a big part of the new learning style and the creative learning spaces, Mr. Behr said.
"We want layers of learning," he said. "We want students working with students, maybe a writer working with a programmer, or an engineer working with an artist on a project. And we want teachers working among themselves, and with the students in reverse mentoring. Then we have school districts working with universities, such as Carnegie Mellon University, or their local library on a project."
For example, Elizabeth Forward this past year partnered with the Arts & Bots Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University, to establish an all-girls robotics club. Girls were taught the basics of computer programming, such as how to control LED lights, motors and sensors. Then, they combined those skills with art and design to construct robots.
Education trends also focus on helping students make a product, Mr. Behr said.
He attended a recent education conference in Washington, D.C., and said President Barack Obama has a "maker" education initiative, in which students learn to produce products. That might include designing, creating and manufacturing a product on a three-dimensional printer or making a film about the history of their neighborhood.
At the MAKESHOP at the Children's Museum in Pittsburgh, for example, parents and children sit at long tables together to make wood products, animation or circuitry or to use sewing machines. Experienced "makers" and artists are on hand to help.
This is the fifth year for the STEAM grants from the two foundations, which have totaled more than $1 million.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 22, 2013-- Wall Street Journal
The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center (www.sgicc.org), has received a grant from the Benedum Foundation that will allow the 2013-2014 Innovation Competition to expand to include West Virginia.
The Shale Gas Innovation Contest has become a popular annual event. In May, 71 applicants participated from across Pennsylvania, vying for a total of $75,000 in prizes. The next contest will cover both Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and the SGICC has lined up three key partners to assist with marketing and helping identify applicants: TechConnectWV; INNOVA Commercialization Group; and the West Virginia University Office of Research & Economic Development.
Bill Hall, Director of SGICC, commented, "I want to thank the Benedum Foundation for providing us the support to expand the next competition to include innovators located in West Virginia. Applications for the 2013-2014 contest will be made available in November."
Anne Barth, Executive Director of TechConnectWV noted, "We are really excited to partner with SGICC to make this contest a regional enterprise."
Guy Peduto, Director of the INNOVA Commercialization Group, an initiative of the WV High Technology Consortium Foundation, also voiced his support. "I attended the recent Innovation Contest and was impressed by the technologies displayed. I know we have entrepreneurs in West Virginia exploring ideas that can impact the shale gas play, and INNOVA wants to help identify the opportunities and advance the most promising ones."
Lindsay Emery, Business Development Manager at West Virginia University noted, "There are researchers at the University that have been exploring many aspects of the shale gas process. This contest may offer some of them an opportunity to have their ideas vetted."
Sponsors are already lining up to support the 2013-2014 Contest including: Ben Franklin Technology Partners (http://www.benfranklin.org), Acorn Energy (http://acornenergy.com), CONSOL Energy (www.consolenergy.com), First National Bank (www.fnb-online.com), Little Pine Resources (http://littlepineresources.com), the Marcellus Shale Coalition (http://marcelluscoalition.org), and Praxair (www.praxair.com). SGICC welcomes the interest of other potential sponsors.
The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center is funded in part by the Department of Community & Economic Development and the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority. SGICC supports and commercializes early-stage technologies that enhance responsible stewardship of the environment while properly utilizing this energy asset.
New grants spur STEAM education in the region
Justine Coyne Reporter- Pittsburgh Business Times, June 4, 2013
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit's Center for Creativity announced Monday it will be distributing $500,000 in grants to 25 school districts throughout the region to improve science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education.
Each grant, worth $20,000, will be used to redesign and create spaces to engage students in STEAM subjects and projects. Some of the proposed plans include a robotics laboratory, a digital communications station, a media studio, a metal fabrication lab and several music centers.
James Denova, vice president of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, said in a statement that these STEAM grants allow public educators to develop the resources students need to succeed in the 21st century workplace. This is the fifth year the Benedum and Grable foundations have provided financial support for STEAM projects in the Pittsburgh region.
“STEAM grants are exciting because they seed the inspiration and creativity of classroom teachers, many of whom have great relationships with arts organizations and institutions of higher education," Denova said. "Too often, the innovative ideas of frontline educators are overlooked by large-scale, top-down initiatives."
More than 80 grant applications were submitted. Proposals were rated by categories including sustainability, implementation, relevance and STEAM integration.
“STEAM grants will give districts the opportunity to provide innovative programs that will engage students in activities that enhance learning and promote the 21st century skills that employers want and need," Linda Hippert, executive director of AIU said in a statement. "Because of these grants, our region's schools are becoming the models for others across the country to follow."
Grant recipients include schools from Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Two community gardens planned in Beverly
Foundation, DHHR provide funding for plots
By Beth Christian Broschart - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain, May 14, 2013
Beverly residents will have the opportunity to share in the work and bounty of two community gardens this season, thanks to funding provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
The Beverly ON TRAC community garden has been established with assistance from a Healthy Community Grant made possible through the West Virginia Development Office and the Benedum Foundation.
The gardens will feature raised beds, built by the community garden group, which will be located behind the Collett House and Goff House in Beverly.
"Interested parties gathered Thursday at the Beverly Heritage Center to make some initial plans for the gardens," said Beverly Heritage Center Executive Director Darryl DeGripp. "The group is working out the particulars regarding the planting and care of the garden and how crops will be divided."
The $3,000 grant will help with supplies to build the gardens, buy equipment and purchase plants. The total estimated cost for the entire project, including donated items and labor, is $8,000.
"The great thing about the garden is that it will be able to be self-sufficient," DeGripp said. "We can harvest seeds from this year to plant next year in the gardens."
The gardens will total 500 square feet, with raised beds built by the members. The idea is to keep the gardens in the style of the traditional 19th century and use heirloom and historic plants.
"During the process, we will also sponsor workshops on planting, caring for the garden and some cooking techniques," DeGripp said. "We also have Hannah Fincham from the West Virginia University Extension Service, who will be talking about safe food preservation."
DeGripp said he wrote the grant as a way to help neighbors become more involved.
"I thought it would be a great way to get the community together and working," DeGripp said. "Work scheduling will be on a monthly basis, and each member will be required to participate in the upkeep of the gardens. By working together, each member will reap the rewards of a successful harvest."
Additional information about the community garden is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Foundation mourns the loss of Paul R. Jenkins
Paul R. Jenkins died on Wednesday morning, May 16, 2012, in the presence of his wife and sons. He was 80.
As the chief executive for nearly three decades of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Jenkins played a very significant role in shaping the economic revitalization and cultural enrichment of West Virginia and greater Pittsburgh.
A Pittsburgh native, Jenkins was born in 1932 to Mary Elizabeth Reiber and Paul W. Jenkins, and grew up in Chatham Village on Mount Washington. He attended Shady Side Academy and Princeton University, where he earned a BA in history.
Following graduation from Princeton, Jenkins attended the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. There he met and married Alice Jane Davis of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the two settled in Pittsburgh in 1957. Jenkins began his career that year as an associate with the law firm Campbell, Thomas & Burke (now Sherrard, German & Kelly, P.C.) later becoming a partner.
Jenkins’ association with the Benedum Foundation began two years after he joined the law firm when, upon the death of Michael L. Benedum, it became a substantial grant-making institution. At the firm, Jenkins served as counsel, assisting with the various legal affairs involved in running a large foundation.
His assistance to the Foundation was so valued that in 1970 he was appointed as the foundation’s full-time chief executive. In 1977, he was elected to the Board of Trustees, on which he continued to serve following his retirement in 1998, being named an Emeritus Trustee in 2003.
In 1996 he was named a “Distinguished West Virginian” by then-Governor Gaston Caperton, the first time in the State’s history that a non-West Virginian had been so honored. The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts honored him with a Cultural Award. He also received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Charleston and West Virginia University.
Mr. Jenkins was actively involved as a director of several non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh, West Virginia and elsewhere. He was a founding Director, member of the Executive Committee, and Treasurer of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The Trust named him a Lifetime Trustee in 2009 for his leadership and vision in creating Pittsburgh’s award-winning Cultural District. Jenkins helped to spearhead the renovation of the historic Stanley Theatre to create the Cultural District’s flagship theatre, The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts.
Jenkins also served on the Board of the Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia, now known as the Clay Center. He was a trustee and former board chair of Shady Side Academy. He also served the First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh as board chair twice as well as treasurer for 26 years.
“Paul Jenkins’ values, commitment, wisdom, guidance, and leadership have shaped the Foundation more than those of any other person. He took a small and uncertain organization and molded it into a vibrant and dynamic philanthropy serving West Virginia and the Pittsburgh region,” wrote Paul G. Benedum, Jr. in 1998 upon Jenkins’ retirement.
The Foundation’s current President, William P. Getty, said, “Paul’s leadership and vision in teacher preparation and access to quality health care for rural populations in West Virginia, and on the Cultural District in Pittsburgh, remain very evident in 2012, and still guide the work of the Foundation.”
Mr. Jenkins was a devoted husband and father. He was known by friends for his wit, humor and joie de vivre. One of his favorite pastimes was fishing with his family and friends on the lakes and bays of Ontario, Canada. He was a member of the Duquesne Club, Fox Chapel Golf Club, and Iron City Fishing Club.
He is survived by his wife, Alice Jane (Davis) Jenkins, his sons, Davis (Pamela) of Chicago, Ted (Holly) of Andover, Massachusetts, and Walter (Laura) of Pittsburgh, his brother, Marten (Gail) of Pittsburgh and six grandchildren.
Friends will be received on Saturday, May 19, 2012, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the JOHN A. FREYVOGEL FUNERAL HOME, 4900 Centre Avenue. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 20, at 2:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 5401 Centre Avenue.
Contributions may be made to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, 803 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15222, or the First United Methodist Church, 5401 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15232.