Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

A grant from the Gannett Foundation will help thousands of Morris County school children explore the stars by supporting the renovation of the County College of Morris’ 37-year-old planetarium.

The $3,000 grant is one of five totaling $12,000 given by the foundation on behalf of the Daily Record, one of the 80 daily newspapers it publishes.

“This kind of support helps us do something we would not have been able to do otherwise,” said Joseph Vitale, vice president of the County College of Morris Foundation. “The Gannett Foundation has been a generous supporter of the college over many years for a number of initiatives, which we appreciate.”

The CCM planetarium has some 14,000 visitors annually, 95 percent of whom are children between the ages of 6 and 10. The planetarium provides presentations on story-telling and time-keeping to demonstrate how the stars have been used for navigation through the ages.

The refurbished planetarium, with a new projection system, sound system and 90 seats, is expected to open at the end of the year, Vitale said.