The local office of the national accounting firm has now awarded the IHP over $1.1 million to help children in the Boston neighborhood

When Dr. Tiffany Hogan first received a grant in 2019 from the Charlestown office of accounting firm RSM, she used the funds to establish an after-school literacy program at the nearby Harvard-Kent Elementary School. 

Her project was so successful that RSM has now awarded her a second grant to work with a new audience at the public school.

“The impact of this really quadruples because instead of working with an individual child, we're working with an individual teacher that works with possibly hundreds of children during the year,” said Hogan, director of the MGH Institute’s Speech and Literacy (SAiL) Lab, who used the original funding to help secure a $3.6 grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand her work to other school districts across the country. “We’ll be working together with the educators of Charlestown so that we can bring the resources of the federal government to the Charlestown community.”

Hogan made her remarks during a recent event held at the RSM office, where she received more than $115,000 for the first year of three-year, $300,000 grant for her project, “The MGHIHP Engaging Educators to Improve Literacy Outcomes in At-Risk Charlestown Children (Project OAR).”

Along with continued funding for two existing MGH Institute initiatives, RSM awarded almost $237,000 at the event.

Over the past six years through its Birdies for Love campaign, RSM has awarded the MGH Institute more than $1,130,000 in grants to support reading and literacy of children at the Harvard-Kent Elementary and Warren-Prescott Elementary schools, and occupational and speech-language therapy services at the John F. Kennedy Center for youngsters, most of whom live in two housing developments located on nearby Medford Street. 

“We’ve really developed a great partnership with the MGH Institute that’s really making an impact on the youth in Charlestown,” said Madison McCabe, president of the RSM Boston Foundation, which awarded the grants. “It’s really exciting to be able to provide funding to help bring meaningful change and hope for a brighter future.” 

The partnership was recognized in 2021 when it was one of four recipients of the Corporate Citizenship Partners of the Year award by the Boston Business Journal.

“We value the funding RSM is providing to assist our researchers to test and implement clinical interventions that can improve the lives of children going to school in Charlestown,”  noted Institute President Paula Milone-Nuzzo. “Our partnership with RSM is an example of what can be done when organizations come together to work on a common goal.”

Dr. Joanna Christodoulou, director of the Brain, Education & Mind (BEAM) Lab, received $80,000 for the second of her three-year grant to support the Summer Program in Literacy and Scholarship (SPLASH), at Harvard-Kent and Warren-Prescott schools. The SPLASH program has served about 50 students each summer since 2017. In the first year of RSM funding, she exceeded the goal of doubling the reach to tripling, serving about 150 children. Christodoulou and a team of MGH Institute graduate students have collaborated with Harvard-Kent and Warren-Prescott to counter the “summer slide” while supporting research to document student outcomes.

“Please know that the ripple effect has mattered and will continue to matter because literacy skills that we invest in now for these children are lifelong,” Christodoulou told the gathering at the RSM event; she will receive $300,000 over three years.

The Starting Off Strong initiative at the Kennedy Center received $40,500 in the last year of a three-year, $230,500 grant. Assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders Dr. Jenn Mackey and a team of Institute graduate students work with at-risk children who have previously identified developmental delays; the goal is to provide supplemental services and referrals to special education and early intervention that support kindergarten readiness and decrease educational and health inequities related to access and use of needed rehabilitation services.

“The support of RSM has allowed us to work with our community partners to figure out solutions for their needs," Mackey told the audience. "Our IHP students learn how these real-world changes can positively impact teachers, children, and families within Charlestown,”

Do you have a story the Office of Strategic Communications should know about? If so, let us know