HCC Happenings: Adult Literacy program receives state grant; GenCyber Camp Grant receives NSA grant; performing arts grant from state arts council
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HCC Happenings: Adult Literacy program receives state grant; GenCyber Camp Grant receives NSA grant; performing arts grant from state arts council

Oct 25, 2023

Harford Community College was recently awarded a $491,228 grant from the Maryland Department of Labor to fund the college’s Adult Literacy program, which includes the teaching of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, Adult Basic Education, and Pre-GED and GED classes.

The Adult Development and Literacy Department is part of the Workforce and Community Education division at Harford, providing instruction and services in basic numeracy and literacy skills, English language acquisition, digital literacy, English literacy and civics, workforce preparation, career pathways, integrated education and training, and high school equivalency classes for Harford County residents 18 years of age and older.

With this grant, the Adult Development and Literacy Department will be able to instruct 457 students in Adult Basic Education, GED® and ESL courses, according to a statement from the college.

ABE classes help students who did not complete high school to enhance their reading, writing and math skills. GED classes prepare students to take the official examination and earn a Maryland high school diploma. The ESL program allows students to enroll in classes for foreign-born adults to improve their English listening, speaking, reading, writing and communication skills.

For more information about the Adult Literacy program, contact Lorraine Peniston, director of Adult Development and Literacy, [email protected].

The National Science Foundation and National Security Agency have awarded a grant to Harford Community College to fund its “GenCyber Smart Camp,” a one-week, non-residential cybersecurity summer day camp. The grant will enable the College to offer two one-week sessions in summer 2024 to 40 seventh, eighth and ninth graders at no cost.

According to the College, the main goal of the camps is to increase students’ interest in cybersecurity and cyber engineering, and connect them with positive role models by integrating diversity into cybersecurity lessons, with teachers, speakers and students who are traditionally underrepresented in cyber careers. For example, 43% of the summer 2023 students were female and 53% were students of color, according to a news release.

The camp is managed and instructed by a team of cybersecurity and education experts who share the goal of inspiring the next generation of cyber stars, helping them to shift from being users to becoming makers, coders, developers, and programmers through hands-on play and team projects.

In support of the GenCyber program goal of providing year-round engagement in cyber content and exposure to career opportunities, Harford will offer several outreach events over the next two years, in addition to the camp next summer.

During the camp, students will participate in individual and small-group, hands-on projects to investigate, program and hack familiar Internet of Things devices such as fitness trackers, drones and virtual assistants; and explore their relationship to the online cloud. Participants will delve into the technological and design principles that drive familiar devices through accessible activities framed around exploring Smart Life, Smart Home and Smart Play domains, and by interacting with women who are cybersecurity engineers.

Harford hosted its first GenCyber camp in summer 2019 and has run three additional camps. This is the fifth time Harford has been awarded this very competitive grant, the news release said.

For more information about the GenCyber Smart Camp, contact Kelly Pulaski, coordinator for Youth Programs and GenCyber Grant Program director, at [email protected].

The Maryland State Arts Council has awarded Harford Community College a grant of $47,731 as part of its Grants for Organizations annual funding. The GFO program provides funding for general operating support to organizations whose programming and performances are open to the public.

Harford has been a recipient of this funding for many years and looks forward to using funds in FY24 to offset the costs of artists’ fees for productions such as the Touring Family Series, community theater shows from the Phoenix Festival Theater, community dance shows from the Harford Dance Theatre, classical and fine arts musical performances, and world music and dance events, the college said in a news release.

In the past fiscal year, grant funding supported shows such as “Grease,” “Cabaret” and “Beauty and the Beast,” presented by the Phoenix Festival Theater; “Harriet’s Happiest Halloween,” “Cinderella” and “The Nutcracker” by Harford Dance Theatre; musical shows paying tribute to The Beatles, John Denver, Phil Collins and Johnny Cash; and cultural events such as Cirque Kalabante, Danú, Celtic Angels Christmas, Hiplet Ballerinas and Kinetic Canvas: Andy Warhol.

Family show Popovich Comedy Pet Theater rounded out the offerings in the series. Musical shows with popular artists Darlene Love and Lee Rocker were also supported through last year’s grant.

More information about upcoming performances at Harford Community College can be found at harfordevents.com.