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Cleveland Hill gets $1 million federal grant

The Cleveland Hill School District is set to give behavioral intervention the same attention it gives to improving academic performance, thanks to a $1 million grant from the federal government.

Assistant Superintendent for Special Education David Evans shared details of the grant with the district’s Board of Education during a meeting Wednesday night. He said the grant would help the district respond to the emotional needs of students, similar to how Cleveland Hill handles academic intervention.

“If you’re addressing behaviors at the earliest levels, these students will be in seats more often and learn more often,” Evans said of the new program, which is designed for students in all grade levels.

The district assembled several administrators and staff members to apply for the grant, which awards just over $1 million over a five-year period. However, Cleveland Hill is expected to reapply for the grant yearly, and the allocation is expected to be different for each year.

While implementing the behavioral framework for the program, the district is also expected to hire new personnel as part of the grant proposal – such as a teacher to offer instruction to suspended students, a social worker to provide home-based support, a part-time secretary for the district’s Family Resource Center or a grant evaluator. The program will also include some professional development conferences for employees.

–Mark Ciemcioch

Elma

For the second straight year, Elma senior citizens are hoping that their quest to secure funding for a portico at the senior center will be granted.

Several seniors turned out Wednesday night to give their project a boost during a public hearing on community development block grant funding.

Gary Brooks, chairman of the Elma Betterment Group, said the portico would be beneficial during inclement weather because it would allow drivers to pull up to the entrance to pick up and drop off passengers without exposure to the elements.

Trudy Weber, a senior center activist, echoed that sentiment.

“Many visitors come in the pouring rain, in wheelchairs and walkers,” Weber said. “We hope that we can get approval this year because we don’t have the time. Some of us won’t be here next year, and we want to enjoy it.”

Town Supervisor Dennis Powers noted the project ­– which also includes a new parking area to accommodate up to 12 handicapped spaces – was considered “a very worthy project” by Erie County’s CDBG committee last year.

“But there just wasn’t enough funds” to pay for it, Powers added.

Weber noted that the center caters to more than town seniors, that veterans and other groups such as the Kiwanis Club and Historical Society also use the center. Several concerts are also held there during the summer.

“This is not just for seniors – it’s a community center,” Weber said. “The portico would be a simple item and won’t cost millions of dollars.”

–John J. Hopkins