BORP’s Youth Wheelchair Basketball program. A Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund award will help the group offer such programs to Cal students and other community members. Photo: BORP
BORP’s Youth Wheelchair Basketball program. A Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund award will help the group offer such programs to Cal students and other community members. Photo: BORP

By Jasper Burget

A program that offers competitive sports to Cal students with disabilities, and another one that places Cal students at Berkeley High as study group leaders, were among several recently awarded grants by a UC Berkeley fund.

The Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund, that aims to strengthen the campus’ support of the Berkeley community, is this year awarding $202,264 to 11 projects focused on education, arts, math and sciences, economic development, and community safety.

“The fund builds bridges by connecting the campus and the community through research, public service and engaged scholarship — and we all benefit,” said Chancellor Nicholas Dirks in a statement. “It is with great pride that I support all of the work we do to strengthen relationships and partnerships with our local Berkeley community.”

Now entering its 9th year, the fund has awarded $1.86 million since 2006. Grants are divided into two categories: community service programs and neighborhood improvement projects. This year’s 11 winners were selected out of a pool of 59 proposals totaling more than $2 million in funding requests.

Athletics-For-All will allow BORP (Bay Area Outreach and Recreational Program) to collaborate with UC Berkeley to help the university become to first in California to offer competitive athletics programs for students and community members with disabilities. The new funds will be used to create weekly sports programs such as Goalball for the blind, Powersoccer for powerchair users, Wheelchair Basketball, and more. It will receive $20,000 over two years.

AP/IB High Study Group Leaders, which will receive $25,000, is a program that pairs Cal undergrads with Berkeley High School to serve as study group leaders for a diverse group of Berkeley High students enrolled in AP and IB courses. The program’s aim is to address the underrepresentation of black and Latino students from low-income backgrounds in these courses.

Justice Rising: Youth Restorative Justice promotes a reduction in suspensions and disciplinary actions for students at Berkeley Technical Academy and other high-risk youth by providing the necessary skills to create a safe environment at school and outside of it. In doing so, it seeks to initiate positive and fundamental change in these youth’s lives and in their communities. It is the recipient of the largest grant in the form of $40,000 over two years.

Healthy Food, Healthy Neighborhoods will transform two liquor stores in South Berkeley with the goal of promoting healthier food choices. The project will redesign the stores to make healthier food more prominent, increasing shelf space and installing refrigerated produce bins. It will also monitor the store’s continued operations and profitability. The program will receive $33,500 over 2 years.

The Bay Area Book Festival is a free, annual event in downtown Berkeley. Scheduled for June 6-7, 2015, it will feature 150 of the world’s most prominent authors on a series of panels and stages, along with an outdoor fair promoting independent bookstores, literary non-profits, arts organizations, and businesses. It will receive $20,000.

“We’re happy that they’re continuing to put money into the community,” said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates of the fund.

View a full list of CCPF recipients.

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Jasper Burget, a senior at Head-Royce School, is currently interning at Berkeleyside. He will be attending Williams College this fall. 

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