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Crusade grant allows upgrades to special-needs department


September 09, 2009
WHAS Crusade for Children Executive Director Dawn Lee visited Crawford County Junior-Senior High School last Wednesday to present the school with a $55,000 grant to help fund renovation of its special education area. She came away impressed by the project, scheduled to be completed this fall.

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Crawford County Community School Corp. Superintendent Dr. Mark Eastridge gives Dawn Lee, executive director of the WHAS Crusade for Children, a tour of the section at Crawford County Junior-Senior High School being renovated into special education classrooms. The WHAS Crusade provided a $55,000 grant for the $205,000 project, which also is being funded with federal stimulus dollars. Photos by Chris Adams
Lee and a cameraman first visited special education teacher Ginger Barton's classroom, where Lee presented the check. Then, after visiting with students, she was given a tour of the new special education area by corporation Superintendent Dr. Mark Eastridge and other school officials.

"From this grant, they're going from almost nothing, as far as materials, to something very nice," Eastridge told Lee.

The WHAS Crusade grant will enable the project to include a kitchen area, cabinets, carpeting in some areas and wiring for technology.

Four classrooms, on the northeast side of the building, have been gutted and are being turned into five rooms. The section had been home to the school's business department, which has moved to the other side of the building, including into the area that had served as the special education classroom.

Assistant Principal Amy Belcher, who, along with Principal Greg Moe and Debbie Jones, the corporation's business manager, accompanied Eastridge and Lee, said the move has been beneficial to both departments. The business classes didn't need as much space as they had and the special education department needed much more than it had, she said.

A small conference room has housed the special education class since the beginning of the school year, but officials are excited by what they will have when the renovation is completed. In addition to the kitchen, they will have access to a washer and dryer utilized by family and consumer sciences classes.

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Dawn Lee, executive director of the WHAS Crusade for Children, right, and teacher Ginger Barton hold a check for a $55,000 grant the organization awarded Crawford County Community School Corp. for renovation of its special education area. They are joined by Barton’s students and school officials.
Eastridge told Lee, who praised school officials for creating what will be a quality learning environment for the school's special-needs population, that the area is being designed with an emphasis on teaching independence.

"It's going to give them a really nice focus on lifeskills," he said.

Other amenities will include an attached rest room and a handicapped-accessible water fountain on the hall wall just outside the classroom. In addition, one of the five rooms will be used as a computer lab.

"We're excited to be a part of (the project)," Lee said.

Once the project is finished, the school will host an open house. The WHAS Crusade cameraman likely will return to film a segment to air on Crusade weekend next June.

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