$500,000 Federal Grant for Improving 2 Camden Neighborhoods

$500,000 Federal Grant for Improving 2 Camden Neighborhoods

by Claudia Vargas, philly.com
Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Two Camden neighborhoods that surround Cooper University Hospital and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University could see significant transformation in the next decade.

After two years spent learning how the Harlem Children's Zone was able to improve dozens of impoverished blocks, Center For Family Services received a $500,000 federal grant to design a plan to duplicate efforts in Camden's Cooper Lanning neighborhood.

The center, in partnership with some of the city's anchor institutions, was one of 10 organizations throughout the country last week to be awarded a Promise Neighborhood Planning Grant. The one-year U.S. Department of Education award will be used to build a framework for the improvement of the Cooper Lanning neighborhood in the next 10 years, with a focus on cradle-to-career.

"The intended impact of the Camden Cooper Lanning Promise Neighborhood is to keep children from becoming victims of the problems and challenges that prevent them from graduating college," said Merilee Rutolo, vice president of the Center For Family Services. "To do that, we must focus on the child and family in a holistic way."

The Obama administration's Promise Neighborhoods program, launched in 2010, is a community-focused program to improve high-poverty neighborhoods through educational opportunities, and comprehensive health, safety, and support services.

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