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Harvard To Aid School Programs

Harvard's next planned venture to invest University resources into the community will focus on Boston education, according to University officials.

While details are still being finalized before the formal announcement in mid-March, officials said the proposed initiative will aid afterschool education programs in the Boston area.

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The initiative comes on the heels of last year's 20/20/2000 housing initiative, which provides $20 million over 20 years to fund low-interest loans for affordable housing in both Cambridge and Boston.

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Paul S. Grogan, Harvard's vice president of government, community and public affairs, said education was the next natural problem to confront.

"Since the housing initiative, we've been looking hard at a variety of specific opportunities in both Cambridge and Boston, and the issue of education loomed very large," Grogan said.

He cited students' low scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System Test (MCAS) and concerns about the lack of Harvard involvement in local schools as primary motivations for the initiative. Last month, Cambridge mayor Anthony D. Galluccio called for Harvard and MIT to commit to helping area schools during his State of the City address.

Grogan said Harvard already puts significant effort into working with Cambridge and Boston schools. He gave the Phillips Brooks House programs as examples.

"Harvard has been deeply involved in education, through things like tutoring and mentoring programs," Grogan said. "There's no shortage of involvement."

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