March 16, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 12

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    $1 million grant furthers work in child, family policy

    By Peter Schuler
    News Office

    The Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies will further its work in child and family policy with the help of a $1 million, three-year grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation.

    The grant will support the Harris School’s Center for Human Potential and Public Policy, which was established in 1998 with a $5 million gift from Irving B. Harris.

    The grant money will provide training for students in child policy and fund four studies on preschool children and adolescents.

    One study will focus on the ways schools serve as central socializing forces for children to help them develop social and intellectual skills. Another, a cross-country study, will investigate parental employment patterns, social mobility and the relationships between the cognitive skills of children ages 4 through 10 and the social institutions in which they live, including health-care, child-care and early schooling institutions. A third study will assess intervention programs designed to promote a nurturing family environment for infants and how such programs impact very young children. A fourth study will identify the aspects of family and schooling experiences that most influence a youth’s commitment to the completion of high school.

    Robert Michael, Dean of the Harris School, said, “This generous grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation will be a tremendous boost for us to attract outstanding students to study child policy at the University. Graduates of the Harris School have a deep commitment to use what they learn about good practices and effective programs for children in their jobs for government agencies and non-governmental and private organizations. With this support, we will be able to do an even better job of preparing them for that task.”

    Robert LaLonde, Professor in the Harris School, added, “There is much exciting research underway at the University on the aspects of healthy development of children, and this grant will allow faculty and students to focus on some of the important policy implications of that work.”