Education dept. receives grant for education about domestic violence

By Elizabeth Krupka
March 28, 2010

Cabrini College received two grants from John and Barbra Jordan. The grants will be used to institute The Barbara and John Jordan Domestic Violence Education program. The program will benefit in-service and pre-service teachers helping them learn about victims of domestic violence and how to handle the sensitive issue.

“Cabrini is beginning to develop and sustain a program to promote greater understanding of domestic violence. The program, Children as Witness, is aimed to assist teachers to have a greater understanding of domestic violence and the problems that it can bring to a classroom. For a smaller college, such as Cabrini, this is a marvelous feat for Cabrini’s education department,” Dr. Colleen Lelli, education professor, said.

The first donation of $25,000 is being used to develop the resources to jump-start the program. This program will include a Web site, which will incorporate the project completed by Cabrini communication seniors. The Web site will then support a new domestic violence curriculum for in-and pre-service teachers.

In order to keep the Children as Witness program thriving the Jordan’s established an endowment fund. The Barbara and John Jordan Endowed Fund to Promote Domestic Violence Education was created recently with a generous gift of $100,000 to maintain the program on an on-going basis.

“The Jordan’s are very passionate about this cause, and they feel that education at all levels is the key to prevent domestic violence. They were especially attracted to the work of Cabrini faculty and students in this area and our strong education program,” Jean Jacobson, director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations, said.

This is a family that has active ties at Laurel House in Norristown. Laurel House is a safe house for women and children who are victims of abuse.

John Jordan is also co-chair of “Gentle” Men against Domestic Violence, a group associated with the Shelter for Abused Women and Children in Naples, Fla., where the goal is to educate boys and young men to break the family cycles of violence.

“The grant puts Cabrini on the map in the domestic violence society. This stresses the education from the heart for the students who are going into this field. This stands up for the justice and safety of women and children,” Lelli said.

UNICEF estimates that 275 million children worldwide are exposed to violence in their homes. In the United States it is estimated that nearly 14 million children are impacted by violence in their own homes.

Cabrini’s communication department seniors, for their final project, have also taken an active part in educating about domestic violence.

The senior convergence class chose the topic of domestic violence, before the education department received their grant.

Once the grant was received the convergence team then decided to develop a Web site to help education teachers and students recognize signs of domestic violence in children.

“The final project will be a Web site that will be used to educate teachers on domestic violence. The Web site will help teachers recognize the signs of domestic abuse and the steps that are needed to be taken in order to aid student victims or their families,” Diana Trasatti, senior communication major, said.

The education professors have highs hopes for the Web site to be used as an impressive learning tool.

“We are hoping to educate education students about how to effectively use the classes as well as the Web site. Our biggest wish for the program is that it continues strongly and that the students appreciate what we have and how special it is that Cabrini got this offer,” Lelli said.

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Elizabeth Krupka

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