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Booker T. Washington Center, Sodus School Awarded Federal Grants


U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer on Thursday announced over $3.6 million in five-year Full-Service Community Schools grants distributed by the U.S. Department of Education, which will support Finger Lakes and Central New York school districts and nonprofits working to expand existing community schools.

The grants will provide funding for New York’s community schools to hire more social workers, expand mental health services, offer high-quality tutoring for students who need extra support, and foster trust and support within the community through family programming. New York State was awarded four grants, which will go towards improving the quality of education in Batavia City School District, Belleville Henderson Central School District, Sodus Central School District, and Booker T. Washington Community Center of Auburn, N.Y., INC.

In Auburn, the $399,593 grant will be used to fund Booker T. Washington Community Center’s Project ACCESS to advance community schools. Project ACCESS schools prioritize social-emotional learning and offer health screenings for students and families, with the goal of promoting positive attitudes about health and fitness throughout the community. The project also helps give families an equal voice in the community’s school leadership and decision-making, which provides two-way communication between schools and families. ACCESS schools want parents involved in their children’s education and encourage parent attendance and participation in school activities.

The Sodus Central School District will use the $2,618,374 grant to advance the development of its community schools as a part of the Wayne County Community Schools Expansion and Engagement Project. The project’s main goals include: engaging with families to build trust and support, teaching students decision-making skills, preparing students for secondary education and overall academic success, and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for both students and their families. With this federal funding, Sodus hopes to achieve academic equity for all students, improved school attendance, Kindergarten readiness, and an increase in students’ perception of feeling safe and supported.

“Providing upstate students with a high-quality education while supporting their social, emotional, and mental health needs will create a strong foundation on which they can build upon in the future,” said Senator Schumer. “From Batavia to Auburn, the Full-Service Community Schools program will boost mental health for our upstate students and ensure that they feel safe and supported in the learning environment. I am proud to deliver this funding to New York’s students, families, and communities, and I will always fight hard to ensure that the next generation has the tools they need to build prosperous and fulfilling lives.”

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Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.