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April 14, 2022

AHA Social Studies Teacher Jennifer Cucchisi Receives Keats Grant

 Jennifer Cucchisi, a social studies teacher at the Academy of the Holy Angels, has received a Joan Lavine Keats Social Justice Institute Teacher’s Grant. This $400 award is presented by The Julius and Dorothy Koppelman Holocaust/Genocide Resource Center of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Rider University.


“I am hoping to use the grant money for something that can benefit the whole community,” Cucchisi said after receiving the news. While she reports having a few ideas in mind, Cucchisi is still researching the best options for Holy Angels.


“I’m delighted to formally let you know that your application for The Joan Lavine Keats Social Justice Institute Teacher’s Grant is a winner!” Executive Director Dr. Pamela Pruit wrote in her April 11 letter. “We had a tremendous response to this year’s Koppelman Center annual offer. Educators representing middle, junior high, and high schools in more than a dozen cities and towns—in seven of New Jersey’s 21 counties—applied. Each of you offered a unique and valuable vision of ways to enhance your curricula to advance Holocaust and genocide education in our Garden State. That is the primary intention and goal of the Joan Lavine Keats grants. Congratulations to you, your lucky students, colleagues, and administrators. This is an honor to be shared.”


Joan Lavine Keats, a founding member of Rider University’s Koppelman Center, is remembered as an outstanding educator who believed education could reinforce social values. The institute named in Keats’ memory offers assistance to teachers who promote social justice through the study of genocide. Grant recipients are encouraged to dedicate the funds to a project that will reach as many students as possible.


Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from many cultural and religious backgrounds.