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After a successful first semester, 537 Clarion: Community Learning Workshop, a drop-in homework, tutoring and community literacy center, recently received $12,000 in grants and donations from community foundations and local organizations.

537 Clarion logoOpened in October by Clarion University English professors Dr. Rich Lane and Dr. Leah Chambers and the students of the university, the workshop has served more than 300 local students and adults in the first three months of operation.

“The grants and donations allow us to sponsor programs that provide critical educational and enrichment opportunities to the local community,” Chambers said. “Without outside grants and donations, we would not have the funds to support these projects or to even stay afloat.”

537 Clarion has received:

  • An $8,000 Spark Grant from Pittsburgh's Sprout Fund, which supports innovative projects in the Greater Pittsburgh region that help children develop hands-on skills and digital literacies;

  • A $2,000 grant from The Buncher Family Foundation, a private family foundation which supports many causes, including the arts, children, youth development and education.

  • Two $1,000 donations, one each from Clarion American Legion and Clarion Rod and Gun Club.

Thanks to the grants and donations, 537 Clarion will host many free events this spring, including: Build-a-Book Night for children ages 4-10, Feb. 19; a “team read” facilitated by Clarion University women’s soccer team, featuring the book “The Kicks” by Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan, 6 p.m. March 6; The Art of Storytelling," a workshop for Clarion University education majors featuring author and illustrator Suzanne Bloom, 5 p.m. April 3, followed by a reading and book signing open to the public; and a ceramics workshop open to any interested community members, April 23.

The Community Learning Workshop, 537 Main St., Clarion, represents a partnership among local citizens, teachers, administrators, K-12 students and Clarion University students, faculty and staff. It provides free educational and enrichment opportunities to residents of Clarion and surrounding communities.

For more information about 537 Clarion: Community Learning Workshop or information about upcoming events, call 814-226-4041 or email

Clarion University is the high-achieving, nationally recognized, comprehensive university that delivers a personal and challenging academic experience.

2/19/2014 10:35 AM

Grants and donations enhance programming at community learning center