Bowne Foundation grant to help Kennesaw State support best practices for children out of school

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Center for Sustainable Journalism’s Youth Today website will become a resource hub

KENNESAW, Ga.  (May 2, 2014) — The Robert Bowne Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to help create a dedicated after-school and out-of-school time research and resource hub on the website of Youth Today, a publicationof Kennesaw State University’s Center for Sustainable Journalism.

The Youth Today/OST Research and Resource Hub, which began development May 1, will promote awareness of out-of-school time issues. It also will make available the body of research and materials the foundation has developed over its 30 years of supporting literacy programs for children and youth and funding technical assistance and professional development for those who work with youngsters during the afterschool and out-of-school hours. The hub is viewed as a legacy project for the foundation, which will close at the end of 2015.

"The Robert Bowne Foundation has been a leader in funding best practice, out-of-school time learning research for years,” said Leonard Witt, executive director of the Center for Sustainable Journalism (CSJ) at Kennesaw State and publisher of Youth Today. “Now it is our pleasure to amplify the great work they have underwritten and to deliver it to key audiences, ensuring that all afterschool and summer learning programs, policymakers and scholars will have easy access to high-quality, best-practice research and resources."

In addition to the hub, CSJ journalists will provide breaking and in-depth news on out-of-school time issues to attract targeted audiences of youth policymakers and professionals to the Youth Today website.

Witt described the new OST hub as a “fantastic addition” for Youth Today audiences. “Now they will be getting news and commentary plus layers and layers of research, resources, tool kits and links to experts in key learning areas such as literacy, STEM and the Common Core."

The OST hub project will collaborate with the Center for Literacy and Learning at Kennesaw State’s Bagwell College of Education, which works to enhance the reading and writing skills of pre-K through 12th grade students. Daphne Hubbard, associate professor of English education and literacy and a member of the Center’s leadership committee, will consult with the CSJ as it expands Youth Today’s coverage of out-of-school time issues and literacy programs.

The Bowne Foundation’s leadership and staff have expressed gratitude that the work of the foundation will be perpetuated by the OST hub on the Youth Today website.

“We wanted a way to share the materials we’ve developed over the years and, more importantly, our ways of working that privileged the knowledge and expertise of youth practitioners, an inquiry stance, and the recognition that while historical and current knowledge and documents are important, it is equally, if not more, important that practitioners continue to learn and evolve for themselves, their practice and their organizations,” said Lena Townsend, executive director of The Bowne Foundation, which Edmund A. Stanley Jr. founded 47 years ago. 

Townsend added: “We wanted to have an electronic media presence that would bring OST practitioners together from around the country to continue to learn from one another and evolve their practices. The Center for Sustainable Journalism’s juvenile justice hub seemed like a model of the kind of tool that could do just that.”

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.