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Anchor grants will fund eight projects linking Sac State to community partners

Sacramento State's Dreamer Resource Center is among the first recipients of funding from the University's Anchor University Strategic Investment Grant Program. (Sacramento State/Robert S. Nelsen)

Sacramento State has awarded small grants to fund eight faculty, staff, and student projects that highlight its status as an anchor university with deep roots across the region.

A $30,000 gift from the University Foundation at Sacramento State funds the projects for activities designed to improve student success, advance equity and social justice, and further community engagement.

Recipients of the first Anchor University Strategic Investment Grant Program are:

String Project, one of eight Anchor University grant recipients, provides free or low-cost classes in violin, cello, and orchestra to children in some of the Sacramento’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. (Sacramento State/Craig Koscho)
  • High School Dream Builders: This partnership between Sac State’s Dreamer Resource Center and the Sacramento Family Unity, Education, and Legal Network supports Sac State students who will intern as “dream builders” to help inform young immigrants and their parents about options for attending college.
  • String Project: It expands a program with the Robla School District in which Sac State offers free or low-cost classes in violin, cello, and orchestra to children in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Participants come to campus for group and private lessons from Music majors, progressing from beginners to musicians who perform for their families in the Music Recital Hall in Capistrano Hall.
  • Giving Voice to Youth Psychological Well-Being: The project is meant to improve the psychological health of youth attending Natomas Pacific Pathways Preparatory High School. Graduate Psychology students supervised by licensed clinicians will deliver an “intervention” program to students affected by issues including poverty, racism, ableism, and homophobia.
  • Workshops for Underserved Women Affected by Domestic Violence: Sac State Nursing students will use an approach known as meta-rehabilitation to help women at the nonprofit My Sister’s House deal with traumas including domestic violence and sexual assault to build resilience and achieve spiritual, emotional and physical growth.
  • Nutrition Education for Public Housing Residents: Dietetic interns will provide nutrition education lessons to two Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Authority communities, Alder Grove and Marina Vista. Interns will lead cooking demonstrations and educate residents about such topics as healthy meals and snacks.
  • Planning a School-Based Health Center with Folsom Cordova Unified School District: Nursing students will conduct a health assessment and establish recommendations for a health center within the Folsom Cordova district. The district has identified a need for a center that would offer services including medical, dental and behavioral health programs via mobile vans or in school buildings.
  • Civil Engineering Writing Partners: Civil Engineering students will exchange letters with students at Elder Creek Elementary School in an effort to improve their communication and writing skills and stir interest in engineering. The program will culminate in a campus visit for the students that includes a tour and engineering demonstrations.
  • Barrio Art in the Community: Art students will gain teaching experience and tutor students from Washington Elementary School and the Washington Neighborhood Center. The course includes field trips to campus, museums, and events designed to contribute to the advancement of pre-K-12 students.

Samantha Blackburn, a Nursing professor and a co-chair of the Anchor University Advisory Council, said the newly funded projects reflect Sac State’s continuing commitment to effect positive change in the region.

“Our first eight Anchor University Strategic Investment Grant recipients illustrate the rich diversity of ways our faculty, staff, and students are engaging in our communities,” Blackburn said.

“These grants highlight our collaborative efforts to improve health, wellness, expressive arts, and college readiness of children and families, while also building Sac State students’ teaching, mentoring, and research skills.”

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About Cynthia Hubert

Cynthia Hubert came to Sacramento State in November 2018 after an award-winning career writing for the Sacramento Bee. Cynthia believes everyone has a good story. She lives in East Sacramento with her two cats, who enjoy bird-watching from their perch next to the living-room window.

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