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The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has awarded a $10,000 grant to Akron Central School to begin a social services program in the Akron-Newstead area.

School Superintendent Alan R. Derry said Peter Greatbatch, executive director of East Hill, a private family foundation in Akron that gives grants to organizations in Clarence and Newstead, also will be providing funding for the program. Derry said 33 applicants have applied for the position of facilitator to coordinate the program, which will be no cost to the district.

A 12-member committee of community leaders, educators and parents formed earlier this year met last month to examine community needs, family-support agencies, costs and funding of a pilot program to focus on curbing drug and alcohol abuse among young people.

In June, Robert M. Bennett, president of United Way and the East Hill Foundation met with school district representatives, town and village officials and business groups to explore health and human service needs in the area.

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