More than 50 students at the West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism will benefit from grants two journalism instructors received this year.

Wynn Norman, assistant professor of public relations, and Mary Furbee, an adjunct instructor, received nearly $50,000 in grants from the W.K Kellogg-WVU Expanding Community Partnership Program. The university awards the grants to programs that give students real-world experience.

Norman partnered with the WVU Division of Forestry and the Tri-County Parks to receive $16,640 to support the Mon Valley Green Space Coalitions Spring Summit. The coalition includes government and resident groups that want to develop and to link parks and green areas.

The money will fund a public relations blitzdirected by WVU journalism studentsto market the summit. More than 100 people participated in the 2000 summit in Morgantown. This years summit is tentatively scheduled for April.

WVU public relations students will also develop a marketing campaign for the coalitions fall fund-raiser, held to support the coalitions activities.

“It isnt just that students will get hands-on experience through the project. Perhaps more importantly, they will learn what teamwork is really about,”Norman said.”The coalition is depending on us, on our students.”

Furbee received more than $32,800 in grants to support the production of The Compass and the Mon Valley Voicetwo student and community-produced newspapers.

Member of the Scotts Run Settlement House and students and faculty in the P.I. Reed School of Journalism work together to produce The Compass. Students, working with members of the community, produce the publication three times during the school year.

The publication provides Osage-area residents information about civic, social and cultural events in the area. The Compass also offers interviews with long-time residents that reveal and highlight the areas cultural, social and political history. Journalism school students and community volunteers have produced the publication for two years.

Members of the Rivesville Cultural and Educational Center and journalism students and faculty will team up for the third year to produce the Mon Valley Voice. The monthly publication provides current and former Rivesville citizens information about their community, as well as profiles of residents and community leaders.

Dr. George Esper, Ogden Newspapers visiting professor in journalism and former Associated Press special correspondent, also works with students to help them find and write news and features about Rivesville residents.

“Students in beat reporting classes get real-world experience in interviewing and writing stories; graduate student assistants work side-by-side with community members on the Voices production,”Furbee said.

“And this year, RCEC members will also explore opportunities to partner with WVU creative arts and education faculty and students to support the development of art courses and mentoring and reading activities at the center,”she said.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1998 awarded the university $5.25 million over five years to administer service learning grants. University faculty partner with community members to develop programs so students can apply what they learn in class to real-world experiences.