supporting Cambridge public school students

Tobin Parent/Volunteer, Julie Croston, Joins CSV Staff

Meet Julie Croston, CSV’s newest staff member. Hired in early spring as a part-time grant writer/development associate, Julie has taken on many additional roles at CSV, integrating her many talents with the needs of the agency.

First, a word on Julie’s background and experience. Her interest has always been around secondary and higher education. She studied at Wesleyan University and received a PhD in African History from B.U. Her primary research took her to Botswana, where she learned the Setswana language and studied the 20th century history of farm labor there. She taught that language in the U.S. as well (at B.U. and Yale). Julie has also taken on special projects for non-profits, becoming the principal writer for the grant that launched a one-stop career center in Boston, a program of Jewish Vocational Services. Her additional experience includes writing for the Cape Cod Times, obtaining a website development certificate from Northeastern, helping English language learners with job assistance services, and more.

A move to Cambridge coincided with the beginning of her involvement with the Tobin School, as a parent as well as active volunteer. Her expertise at grant writing helped the school zero in on developing programs with the Fresh Pond Reservation so that kids at the Tobin could experience outdoor education directly across the street from the school. The multi-sensory, hands-on Fresh Pond programs have been a good fit for the Tobin’s Montessori Children’s House (pre-K, Jr-K and K) as well as older students. Imagine the fun that kids had becoming birds of different species and simulating the migratory journeys to Fresh Pond from winter feeding grounds! Five classrooms participated this year, involving a coordinated effort from teachers and volunteering parents. In addition, Julie helped write the grant that launched Art & Science in One, a program (with assistance from CSV) that enables 4th and 5th graders to experience nature first-hand and write about it.

Currently, Julie assists CSV staff with writing, recruitment, Reading Buddies, Twitter and Facebook postings, and much more. She somehow finds the time, even as a Tobin parent and soon-to-be CRLS parent, to garden, serve on the Healthy Children’s Task Force, maintain a blog, and become a sheltered English immersion volunteer at the Vassal Lane Upper School. About her new role at CSV, Julie says, she “loves the feeling of being part of a team with a fantastic purpose…it’s invigorating to be around volunteers who are there for the right reasons.” Well, we feel that way about you, too, Julie. Welcome aboard!