The Thomas Edison State University Foundation has received a $10,000 grant from TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, to support culturally responsive classrooms in the Trenton, N.J., public school district. The support will help educators create classroom environments that celebrate and affirm their students’ cultural identities.

The grant will assist The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy’s N.J. Cultural Competency and English Language Learners (ELL) Institute and Mentoring Program at the University. The funding will enable the ELL Program to dramatically expand its efforts to provide critical teacher development to 15 educators in the Trenton District’s Dual Language classrooms, including those in the newly opened Trenton Global Academy.

This contribution supports TD’s longstanding commitment to community enrichment through TD’s corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment. The Ready Commitment actively promotes inclusiveness, economic vitality, environmental well-being and health, enabling people of all backgrounds to succeed in a rapidly changing world. As part of The Ready Commitment, TD targets US $775 million in total by 2030 toward community giving in four critical areas: Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through this platform, TD aspires to create a more inclusive tomorrow – helping people of all backgrounds feel more confident, not just about their finances, but about their ability to achieve their goals. Visit:

“TD is proud to support expansion of the ELL program’s teacher training program to enhance the educational experience of students from diverse communities in dual language classrooms,” said Rob Curley, market president, TD Bank. Since 2007, the ELL program has provided professional development and mentoring to 290 early childhood/elementary teachers in 158 classrooms in 99 schools throughout New Jersey. The program helps to teach theory and best practices in cultural competency; first and second language acquisition and English learning strategies; model best practices through simulations and literacy moments; and equips teachers to use culture and language as tools for developing students’ positive cultural identity and self-esteem.

“We are truly grateful to the TD Charitable Foundation for its continual support of this endeavor,” said Ana I. Berdecia, senior fellow and director, the Center for the Positive Development of Urban Children at the Watson Institute. “The grant enables the ELL program to expand its 12-year evidence-based professional development model and broaden its outreach to the local Trenton-area schools.”

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