Berkshire Community College (BCC) is pleased to announce that the college has been awarded two local grants; $3,000 from the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts to support the Education, Empowerment and Encouragement Project (E3 Project) and $6,099 from the Berkshire Life Foundation to purchase new software for the Disabilities Resource Center.
Through the E3 Project (Education, Empowerment, and Encouragement), BCC will design, pilot and evaluate a support program to serve its at-risk female population and offer a one-credit to build self-esteem in women. E3 will also develop a systemic change in the way support services at the college are offered to women and girls.
"BCC is committed to provide a personal support network for at-risk female students and to increase awareness of issues that prevent our female students from achieving their goals," said Anna Foss, BCC's coordinator of the E3 Project. "This grant will help us to provide resources for women at BCC who are faced with life circumstances that, at times, seem to present insurmountable obstacles."
The grant funds provided by the Berkshire Life Foundation will purchase adaptive equipment (including Read & Write Gold software and one Netbook computer) in order to provide its disabled student population with access to the most up-to-date technologies to help them succeed in the classroom. Read & Write Gold is a software program that will permit students to highlight text which is then read aloud using computer-generated but natural sounding voices. The program is designed to improve reading fluency and comprehension and can be easily integrated with current Windows applications such as Adobe and Microsoft Office. Read & Write Gold also includes additional support tools for successful studying, research, and test taking skills.
"The software will enable students with disabilities to be as independent as possible, while helping them to maximize their potential for success," said Pamela Farron, BCC's Disability Resource Center Coordinator.
For more information on BCC's E3 program, contact Anna Foss at 413-236-2107 and for information on services available to BCC's disabled students, contact Pam Farron at 413-236-1608.