ATHENS — The Athens Area School Board announced during Tuesday night’s work session meeting that the school district has once again received a “Safe Schools” grant.

The $35,000 in grant funds will mostly be used to help cover the costs of the district’s School Resource Officers, according to Superintendent Craig Stage.

“This is the second year we’ve applied for it, and we’ve been fortunate enough to get that money,” said Stage. “We’ve used it for SROs mainly to offset the costs of those.”

Stage believes having School Resource Officers in the district has made a positive impact.

“It’s an absolutely wonderful thing,” said Stage. “The culture in the buildings have changed. People feel safer. The kids are developing positive relationships with law enforcement. They are able to talk about their issues with a person they see as a safe and trusted person.”

The superintendent has been thrilled with the work of the current SROs in the school district.

“Our three SROs are invested in our buildings. They participate in numerous things. They eat lunch with the kids. They’re on the playground with the kids. They are talking and interacting. It’s a very, very positive thing,” Stage said.

Stage said that beyond the Safe Schools grant, the district is also applying for other funds to use toward enhanced security measures.

Pat McDonald can be reached at (570) 888-9643 ext. 228 or Follow Managing Editor Pat McDonald on Twitter @PatMcDonaldMT.

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