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Valley lawmakers announce nearly $2M in "Straight A" grant funding for Mahoning County schools

Funding for two local, individualized educational programs will help students prepare for future success
July 28, 2016
Democratic Newsroom

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the release of $990,048 in “Straight A” grant funding for the Mahoning County Educational Service Center. The funding will help participating school districts ensure that students are college and career ready with the implementation of the Mahoning Valley Prepared for Success project. In addition, Mahoning County schools will also receive $915,603 for the Northeast Ohio Literacy Consortium, a program created by The Ohio State University to enhance student’s literacy skills. 

“Ensuring every student has equal access to a quality education is critical in driving our economy forward,” said Boccieri. “It is essential that students are prepared for what’s next after graduation— whether they choose to further their education or join the workforce. The innovative approach under ‘Mahoning Valley Prepared for Success’ provides the perfect opportunity for thousands of kids to learn necessary skills they need to succeed.” 

The Mahoning Valley Prepared for Success project is a community-level shared service approach project focused on preparing students for the increasingly competitive 21st century global economy by helping schools meet college and career readiness criteria on the state report card. Students will become more proficient in reading and writing by building on their current skill level, creating a more individualized, student-focused approach. 

The Northeast Ohio Literacy Consortium is a research based program that offers innovative approaches for educators to teach students reading and writing. Based on framework created by The Ohio State University, this program does away with traditional approaches and allows students to choose what they’re interested in reading and writing about. Youngstown City schools have already experienced some success with the program. 

“These collaborative community projects show that Mahoning County is dedicated to making our children’s education a top priority,” said Lepore-Hagan. “I look forward to the outcome this program will bring for our children, our workforce and the entire Mahoning Valley.” 

Among the local Mahoning Valley-area participating school districts that will receive a portion of the funding for the Mahoning Valley Prepared for Success project are Austintown, Campbell, Canfield, Columbiana Exempted Village, Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, Poland, Springfield and Struthers. In addition, school districts that will receive funding for the North East Ohio Literacy Consortium include Austintown, Beaver, Brookfield, Newbury, West Brach, Windham Village, and Youngstown. 

The “Straight A Fund” was established to help schools launch creative new ideas for improving education and to transform Ohio’s education system into one that meets the unique needs of every student in every classroom. The Ohio Department of Education received over 141 grant applications for over 400 schools.