During a regular board meeting on September 21, Warsaw Community Schools’ Board of Trustees approved a recently awarded $100,000 competitive school safety grant. “WCS is very thankful to the State of Indiana for putting together this safety grant,” said Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert. “This funding helps sustain our School Resource Officers, roving security detail, and ongoing threat assessments inside our schools.” The Secured School Safety Grant (SSSG) fund is administered by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Including the funds committed this year, the SSSG program will have distributed more than $91 million in state matching grants to schools since the program became law in 2013. All of these funds focus specifically on school safety.
The WCS school board also approved two COVID-19 response grants. WCS was awarded $110,000 from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Grant (GEER), which was created to provide support to schools with a focus on developing and improving the availability of distance/remote learning techniques and technologies. The GEER grant was a needs-based and competitive grant. With the grant funds, WCS will be able to purchase additional mobile Internet hot spots to loan to families without Internet access in the home. The grant covers the units and one year of service, which should provide access until other connectivity initiatives in Kosciusko County begin to come online.
In addition, WCS received a $19,163 COVID-19 Rapid Response grant provided by the K21 Health Foundation to purchase touchless bottle fillers. In efforts to provide a safer and healthier learning environment for students, WCS had already started installing several touchless bottle fillers in buildings, but not nearly enough to meet the current need due to COVID-19. The CDC recommends that schools alleviate the sharing of traditional drinking fountains because of students touching the fountains, buttons, and mouthpieces, which could pose a risk for the transmission of COVID-19 and other germs. Children are especially at risk for touching these surfaces and putting their mouths on the spouts. Touchless bottle fillers are an effective way to mitigate the risk. “With K21 Health Foundation's support, we were able to purchase 20 bottle fillers and distribute them among buildings,” stated Krista Polston, Grants and Special Projects Coordinator. “K21 funding has continued to expand opportunities within Warsaw Community Schools. We are extremely grateful for their support.”
Finally, Warsaw Community Schools would like to recognize and thank Clearwater Car Wash for their generous donation of $10,000. The Warsaw-based car wash company decided to give back to five local organizations in April by donating April’s profits. Clearwater Car Wash COO Travis Jones with Clearwater Car Wash Assistant Manager Matthew Holbrook presented WCS with the gift as part of a larger community donation from a Care Campaign they launched as a response to assisting the community during the lockdown.
Warsaw Community Schools is grateful for recent state and local grants totaling over $239, 000 to support WCS to continue to advance its mission.