TD Charitable Foundation Awards $10,000 Grant to Help Teachers Become More Culturally Competent Educators

August 10, 2017

Pictured from left to right are John Thurber, vice president, Division of Public Affairs, Thomas Edison State University; Ana Berdecia, MEd, senior fellow/director Center for the Positive Development of Urban Children, The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State University; Heather Quinn, vice president, U.S. Field Marketing Strategy, TD Charitable Foundation; and Joseph Tredinnick, senior vice president, TD Bank.

Pictured from left to right are John Thurber, vice president, Division of Public Affairs, Thomas Edison State University; Ana Berdecia, MEd, senior fellow/director Center for the Positive Development of Urban Children, The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State University; Heather Quinn, vice president, U.S. Field Marketing Strategy, TD Charitable Foundation; and Joseph Tredinnick, senior vice president, TD Bank.

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, has awarded a $10,000 grant to Thomas Edison State University as part of the foundation’s commitment to giving back to the community.

The grant provides ongoing support of a mentoring program based in The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy of Thomas Edison State University that helps early childhood and elementary school educators become more culturally aware of students from diverse backgrounds.

The N.J. Cultural Competency and English Language Learners Summer Institute (ELL) program, launched in 2007, is coordinated by the Watson Institute’s Center for the Positive Development of Urban Children. The program trains and mentors educators from across New Jersey, by helping them celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of their students.

Funding from the TD Charitable Foundation has supported the mentor-based component of the program since 2008.

“The funding continues to support the centerpiece of the ELL program – mentoring and monitoring of teachers who work with the state’s diverse population of children – by giving them the tools to become more culturally and linguistically responsive educators,” said Ana I. Berdecia, MEd, center director. “The process of becoming culturally conscious requires continuous investigation and modification to educators’ thinking and teaching perspectives. During the nine-month mentorship, participants are provided with a comprehensive pathway to transform their teaching practices to support ELL students and create a shared cultural experience in their classrooms. We are immensely grateful to TD Charitable Foundation for their ninth consecutive year of support for this endeavor.”

Since its launch, ELL has trained and mentored 235 educators working in 97 classrooms across 85 schools throughout New Jersey, enabling them to create environments that affirm the cultural diversity of their students to more fully engage them in learning. This year’s program focuses on early childhood centers in Trenton, N.J., and adjacent communities.

A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® and the TD Charitable Foundation provides support for affordable housing, financial literacy and human services, with a focus on improving the welfare of children and families.

About the TD Charitable Foundation
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 more than $159 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The Foundation’s areas of focus are affordable housing, financial literacy and human services. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at www.TDBank.com.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., with approximately 26,000 employees and deep roots in the community dating back more than 150 years. The Bank offers a broad array of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services to more than 8.5 million customers through its extensive network of approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition to banking products, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth® and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". For more information visit www.td.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook and on Twitter.

About The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy
The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy is a center for innovation and applied public policy within the John S. Watson School of Public Service and Continuing Studies of Thomas Edison State University. The Institute is a vital resource for New Jersey decision makers. The Institute’s practical, nonpartisan, hands-on approach supports informed public policy that links people to policy. The Institute addresses the state’s most critical issues through practical research, technical assistance and comprehensive public policy solutions that are supported by the resources of higher education in a manner that reflects the University’s tradition of innovation and excellence.