Foundation grants offered to boost virtual learning

In recognition of the challenges faced by many families with children enrolled in schools with distance learning requirements, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands is offering grants to support virtual learning.

The purpose of the grants is to encourage and bolster initiatives that increase educational equity and opportunity, responding to student needs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible entities include nonprofit organizations, churches and houses of worship and local government agencies.

Examples of acceptable grant fund use include purchase of equipment to facilitate remote enrichment experiences for youth, fees and salary support for personnel.

Priority will be given to entities that demonstrate the ability to serve students of lower-income families. Grants will range from $1,000 to $10,000.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 30 and should be submitted through the foundation’s online grant portal at cfvi.net. Questions should be directed to Beth Nuttall, CFVI Executive Manager, at bethn@cfvi.net

Police urging residents to compete in photo contest

The Crime Prevention Bureau is encouraging the community’s youth to participate in the national Red Ribbon Photo Contest in honor of Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23 through 31.

Families and schools may participate by decorating their homes or schools with a red ribbon and this year’s theme “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” theme to win an iPad and $1,000 for their school. To win, receive the most votes in your region or win one of five judges awards. For more information, call Capt. Sandra Colbourne at 340-244-6539, e-mail sandra.colbourne@vipd.vi.gov or visit www.redribbon.org/contest.

Eligible entities include nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status, churches and houses of worship and local government agencies. Examples of acceptable grant fund use include (but are not limited to) purchase of equipment/technology to facilitate remote enrichment experiences for youth, fees/salary support for personnel, providing technology tools for students who need such tools to participate in remote enrichment/learning programs and support for overhead costs, such as rent and utilities.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 30 and should be submitted through the foundation’s online grant portal at cfvi.net. Questions should be directed to Beth Nuttall, CFVI Executive Manager, at bethn@cfvi.net.

Police urging residents to compete in photo contest

The V.I. Police Department’s Crime Prevention Bureau is encouraging the community’s youth to participate in the national Red Ribbon Photo Contest in honor of Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23 through 31.

Families and schools may participate by decorating their homes or schools with a red ribbon and this year’s theme “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” theme to win an iPad and $1,000 for their school.

To win, receive the most votes in your region or win one of five judges awards. For more information, call Capt. Sandra Colbourne at 340-244-6539, e-mail sandra.colbourne@vipd.vi.gov or visit www.redribbon.org/contest.

UVI to offer new minor in data science

The University of the Virgin Islands will offer a new minor in data science this fall.

This new program housed in the School of Science and Mathematics, is a multidisciplinary program that uses mathematics, statistics and computer science together to gain knowledge and insights from data in all disciplines.

“Data is critical in every field,” said Dr. Joanne Luciano, distinguished professor of data science. “Dentists look at X-rays, journalists use data to create info graphs, and we are using testing and contract tracing to help us monitor and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” she said “We engage with data every day, but we don’t realize it because we don’t think of it that way. Our phones store all kinds of information about us, not only names and phone numbers, text messages and photos, but also where you’ve been.”

Two new courses have been introduced with the minor. The Data Science I course is designed for all majors, and the Data Science II course is designed for the students who minor in Data Science or meet all the prerequisites.

The program was designed specifically for the Virgin Islands community. Similarly, the university is working toward introducing a certificate in data science. The goal is to target workforce development to increase the capability of the Virgin Islands government in all its departments in order to save money spent on external consultants and learn how to generate, integrate and analyze data to make informed decisions that best serve the territory’s residents.

For more information about the minor in data science program, visit www.uvi.edu or use this direct link to the degree programs page.