The Shishmanian Grant is an opportunity to support practitioners to expand their knowledge and skills in an area of interest, Students entering the field of Early Intervention during their internship at a MA DPH certified Early Intervention Program, or current EI staff enrolled in an academic program of study leading towards an advance degree or in an Early Intervention Certificate program. And Program directors looking to enhance their motivational leadership or business management skills.

Eunice Shishmanian, visionary and teacher

Grants are awarded each year to honor Eunice Shishmanian, whose vision and dedication to the needs of very young children and their families internationally, serve as a model for all of us. As a nurse, Eunice has devoted her career to Maternal Child Health initiatives and has been a leader in supporting families who have children experiencing developmental challenges. As the first chair of the Massachusetts Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Council, Eunice helped shape the foundation for a system which continues to individualize supports and services to young children and their families. Eunice is a former member of the interdisciplinary faculty team at Northeastern University, preparing students in five disciplines to be Early Intervention Specialists.

The Shishmanian Grants are funded by Early Intervention Services, Division for Perinatal, Early Childhood, and Special Health Needs at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

General Grant Information

Lifelong learning is essential to those involved in Early Intervention (EI); seasoned EI professionals, program directors, and students new to the EI system. By participating in opportunities to learn and grow we enrich our work. Specifically, we strengthen our ability to support the dreams and aspirations of families and EI providers. By building our knowledge and skills we are better able to enhance the ability of families and our Early Intervention system. The Shishmanian Grant provides a unique opportunity to obtain assistance for further professional development. Grant applications are accepted each October and awards of up to $2,000 are announced each December.

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Senior Practitioner Track

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Senior Practitioner Grants provide experienced Early Intervention specialists with time and resources to enhance their professional development. Applicants may propose enrollment in a course, a demonstration project, an apprenticeship related to the needs of young children and their families, or another mode of directed learning to expand their knowledge and skills in a particular area of Early Intervention. Applicants may apply as individuals or as a collaborative group.

The primary goal of these grants are for senior practitioners to take advantage of professional development opportunities, and, secondarily, to share new learning at their Early Intervention program, or with the broader EI community. DPH encourages professional development that includes a well-established model that is relevant to EI services.

Student Track

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Who can apply?

Grants are awarded to individuals enrolled in an accredited college or university program leading to a degree in Early Intervention, early childhood development, special education, nursing, speech and language pathology, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy or psychology. Grants are awarded in conjunction with the applicant's internship or practicum in an Early Intervention program certified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The practicum/internship must be at least 300 hours.

Grants may also be awarded to individuals employed in a Massachusetts DPH Certified Early Intervention program and enrolled in an academic program of study leading towards an advanced degree or an Early Intervention certificate. Again, these awards are granted in conjunction with the applicant's internship or practicum of at least 300 hours. For applicants currently working in Early Intervention their internship or practicum does not have to be at an Early Intervention site.

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Program Director Grants

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Program director grants provide current, permanent, full time MA Early Intervention program directors with resources to enhance their professional development as it relates to their business practices. Applicants may propose enrollment in a course, formal seminar, training, or intensive workshop focusing on expanding their knowledge and skills in business, management, or professional leadership.

The primary goal of the Program Director grants is for program directors to take advantage of professional development opportunities that will enhance their ability to provide motivational leadership or business management skills to support their program as a whole. Grants provide program directors the opportunity to enhance their administrative knowledge and expertise through professional development.

Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded for use from December 2016 through May 2017. The majority of funds must be used for course or conference costs. The remainder must be used for activities and/or resources that support implementation of learned skills. Funds cannot be used for capital improvements, purchase of equipment or furniture, purchase of food, or production of electronic media. Grants and are taxable to the recipient.

Send complete applications to:

Emily Webb
Metro Boston Regional Health Office
Donovan Health Building
5 Randolph Street
Canton, MA 02021
781-774-6700 (F)

Emily.Webb@state.ma.us