Comer receives Kellogg grant to advance child-centered efforts in education

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Dr. James P. Comer

Comer School Development Program (SDP) founder and Yale Child Study Center professor Dr. James P. Comer was awarded a $600,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan to advance child-centered efforts in education.

Through this grant, the Kellogg Foundation will support Comer’s chief project goal of creating a collaborative model among a school system (New Haven Public Schools), a state university (Southern Connecticut State), and the SDP that will enable educators to create school environments and/or cultures that integrate student development and academic learning in a way that prepares all students for academic and life success. The outcomes of this project could inform policymakers about more effective and sustainable ways of preparing the education workforce.

“We’re delighted that the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has funded the launch of the Collaborative for Developmentally Centered Education that brings together the critical groups needed — the New Haven Public Schools, Southern Connecticut State University, and our School Development Program,” said Comer, the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center.

Comer founded the SDP in 1968. The program promotes the collaboration of parents, educators, and the general community to improve social, emotional, and academic outcomes for children and, in turn, help them achieve greater school success. His concept of teamwork has improved the educational environment in more than 500 schools throughout America.

Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools Garth Harries said, “Personal development of students is a major piece of the work we do at New Haven Public Schools to prepare young people for success in college, career, and life. This grant award from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will allow us to expand our partnership with Yale University’s Comer School Development Program and strengthen our efforts to support the whole child. We look forward to working with Dr. Comer and Southern Connecticut State University to launch this exciting new initiative on behalf of students.”  

Stephen J. Hegedus, dean of the School of Education at Southern Connecticut State University added, “I wish to thank the Kellogg Foundation for its support to help us focus our educational programs in the effective preparation of students to understand the needs of child and adolescent development at this time. I am truly thankful for the collaborative work between Yale, New Haven Public Schools, and Southern Connecticut State University.”

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Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326