Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2012

Wellesley Centers for Women research and action initiatives are funded primarily by federal, state, and corporate grants and contracts. Several new and continuing projects received funding over the past six months.


Family Court Snapshot Data Collection Project
Project Director: Monica Driggers, J.D.
Funded by: Bank of America Philanthropic Trust, the Mabel A. Horne Trust

This grant supports completion of the final report for the Family Court Snapshot Data Collection Project, which began in 2009 and included two years of data collection in selected family courts in Massachusetts. The project has identified gaps in the family court process that can affect public safety. Research results focus on strengths and weaknesses in the adjudication of cases involving domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness, and child trauma. The report culminates in a set of recommendations to close the systemic gaps and improve outcomes in high risk family court cases.


Next Generation Afterschool System Building Initiative
Project Director: Ellen Gannett, M.Ed.
Funded by: The Wallace Foundation

In the first phase of this project, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) will develop a technical assistance plan for The Wallace Foundation’s Next Generation Afterschool System Building Initiative. Gannett, NIOST’s director, along with Cross & Joftus, the John W. Gardner Center at Stanford University, the National League of Cities, and Wallace Foundation staff will develop a technical assistance plan in three key areas: getting and using data for program improvement, accountability, and sustainability; taking program quality to scale; and systems sustainability, including developing strong school-afterschool partnerships.


National Afterschool Matters Initiative— NYC Fellowship Group
Project Director: Ellen Gannett, M.Ed.
Funded by: The Pinkerton Foundation

The Pinkerton Foundation has provided supplemental funds to the Robert Bowne Foundation’s support for the National Afterschool Matters Initiative. The Pinkerton grant will provide targeted support for the New York City Fellowship, which is focused on the professional development of out-of-school- time practitioners who work with adolescents.


Development of the Curriculum Guide/Leader Guide for a Boys’ Empowerment Group
Project Director: Georgia Hall, Ph.D.
Funded by: The Anne E. Borghesani Community Foundation

With support from the Anne E. Borghesani Community Foundation, Hall’s team will develop a curriculum guide and leader guide for a boys’ empowerment group in hopes of seeding boys groups in a set of out-of-school time programs in Boston, MA.


The Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network
Project Director: Erika Kates, Ph.D.
Funded by: Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation

The goal of the Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network (MWJN) is to shift the policy climate increasingly towards treatment and skill building instead of incarceration for thousands of women caught up in the Massachusetts justice system each year due to the interlocking effects of abuse, addiction, mental illness, poverty, and crime. With continued support from the Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation, the MWJN will expand and consolidate its achievements, building on the significant women-centered initiatives it has created, and informing policy changes to advance alternatives to incarceration for women.


Boston Quality Inventory 2012–2013
Project Directors: Wendy Wagner Robeson, Ed.D.
Funded by: Associated Early Care and Education, Boston EQUIP

With support from Associated Early Care and Education, as part of their Boston EQUIP, (Early Education Quality Improvement Project), Robeson’s team will conduct the Boston Quality Inventory 2012-2013, a study designed to provide a comprehensive picture of the quality of Boston’s early care and education programs for preschoolers, in both centers and family child care homes, as an indicator of the capacity of Boston’s early care and education programs to prepare preschoolers for formal schooling.


Additional Funding


Sumru Erkut, Ph.Dreceived continued funding from Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts for the final phase of the impact evaluation of Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education that Works, a comprehensive middle school sex education curriculum, on middle school students’ sexual health outcomes, including delayed sexual initiation and correct and consistent use of protection among those who become sexually active.

The Tracy Gladstone, Ph.D., with her colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago, received continuing support from the National Institute of Mental Health at the National Institutes of Health for the multi-site study of CATCH-IT, a primary care/Internet-based depression prevention program for at-risk adolescents and their families.

Amy Hoffman, M.F.A. received continuing operating support for the Women’s Review of Books from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) received gifts from various individuals and supporters.

The National Institute On Out-Of-School Time (NIOST) at WCW received support for training, technical assistance projects, and continuing evaluations from Berks County Intermediate Unit, Boston and Beyond, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, and Providence After School Alliance.

The Open Circle program at WCW received various gifts from friends and supporters of the social and emotional learning program.

Joanne Roberts, Ph.D. received renewed support from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) to conduct observations for early childhood and afterschool programs applying for advanced ratings in EEC’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).

Along with Wendy Wagner Robeson, Ed.D., Roberts received continuing support from Providence Plan, Ready to Learn Providence under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, for the final phase of evaluation of the Early Reading First Program. Robeson also received support to train Associated Early Care and Education staff on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test- 4 and Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening-Pre-K assessments.

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