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NECC Receives Funding for Charter School Program

Submitted by on March 27, 2012 – 11:33 am

Students from the Lawrence Family Development Charter School work on a project in an NECC lab.

Sixth graders from the Lawrence Family Development Charter School attend college one day a month, thanks to a grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, as part of the bank’s commitment to giving back to the community.

The TD Charitable Foundation recently presented Northern Essex Community College with $5,000 to help fund the program which exposes the Charter School students to science, technology, electronics, and math (STEM) courses. This program was initially launched last year.

The 60 pre-teens visit science and technology labs on NECC’s Haverhill Campus one Friday each month and participate in activities conducted by Northern Essex professors. The curriculum is designed to improve scores on the science and technology sections of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests.
The students create models of the moon, build towers out of note cards and boats out of tin foil, use batteries, wires, and paper clips to see how parallel circuits work, study cloud formation by creating clouds inside bottles, and create rockets using vinegar and baking soda.

“Every lesson includes fun, hands-on activities,” explains Northern Essex Professor Marc Reinhold. “We believe this is what gets kids excited about science and helps to improve comprehension.”

“The goal is to improve their understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math, what we call the STEM fields,” said Dr. William Heineman, Northern Essex’s vice president of academic affairs. “There is a wealth of evidence that insufficient numbers of students in the United States are meeting high standards of academic achievement in these fields. By reaching them at a young age and getting them excited about these fields we hope to help turn this around.”

Students are tested on a subject before the lesson and then again after to determine whether they grasp the subject matter. Initial findings are positive, according to Reinhold.

In addition to the 6th grade visits, professors from Northern Essex visit with the current 5th graders at the charter school five times during the year and provided additional instruction in science and technology in preparation for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests.
For more information, contact Reinhold at

A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank and the TD Charitable Foundation provide financial and other support to affordable housing initiatives, financial literacy and education and the environment, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, and is one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made $84.9 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The Foundation’s areas of focus are affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and the environment.