Peoria Public Schools receives $3M grant to help underserved students

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PEORIA (WEEK) — Over $3 million will be devoted to Peoria Public Schools to help in tutoring, counselling, career mentoring and several other initiatives.

The Climate Transformation Grant of over $3.4 million grant called  “Lights on, Peoria” will go towards Richwoods, Peoria High and Manual high schools, according to a release by PPS Wednesday.

“We always say, ‘let’s spend less time trying to fix behaviors and more time on serving our kids differently,'” Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat said. “Lights On Peoria does that.”

The grant will allow PPS to fill in gaps of support for high school students residing in the city’s Opportunity Zones, equipping our schools to help our underserved and marginalized students. The purpose, PPS officials said, is to ensure a “safe and supportive school climate.”

Additionally, the grant will help provide positive weekend experiences for students.

“It is getting to the very root cause of the issues displayed much later on in life,” State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D, Peoria) said. “The work that’s happening and the visionary leadership around how you better help and support children and their families is exactly what we should be doing. It’s a model not just for this state but for this country.”

“This grant for students residing in the city of Peoria’s Opportunity Zones is about reaching and connecting with our most vulnerable students and igniting a fire for their success,” said Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, Superintendent of Schools. “Together, we must give each one of these students a fighting chance to become responsible, successful and happy adults.”

Students at these schools will receive different interventions based on the needs of that particular school, the release read.

Offered in the grant are:

  • Academic tutoring
  • Social emotional counseling
  • Career mentoring
  • Expanded opportunities for competency-based learning
  • Connections to community services and agencies
  • Justice advocates
  • Opioids education
  • Professional learning
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