"The $2.1 million '21st Century Lights On' grant has the potential to
changes in Calhoun and I don't want to fritter it away," said Dr.
Tony Russell, newly
appointed Project Director. Russell, who was in charge of outreach
services at Minnie
Hamilton Health Care Center, will start his new job on April 26.|
The project will fill some gaps for kids who are not doing well and
opportunities for others, including families.
"We hope to bring the whole community along. It is not just about
schools, it is about
strengthening this community," he said. Some of the evening, weekend
programs will be directed toward adults.
Committee excited about "Lights On"
Dr. Russell has a Ph. D. from the University of Pennsylvania, having
from Marshall University and the University of Washington. He was the
of the Upward Bound program at Wittenberg University and worked for
Virginia Department of Education. He was a Peace Corp volunteer and
has taught in
elementary, high school and college settings.
Russell said this is the single highest grant award in West Virginia.
The grant was
initiated by George Ward, Director of Curriculum for Calhoun schools,
from a committee of local individuals. "We are going to have a big
celebration to start
the 'Lights On' Project," said Ward. The grant covers a three year
"Lights On" has high aspirations to increase academic performance,
number of dropouts, decrease violence and help kids with alcohol and
Much of the project is to help kids and parents become more computer
affording additional training and access. "Lights On" has economic,
educational, health and recreational goals.
Dr. Tony Russell (center) will be project director, Gail Carter
(left) and Sherri Graham (right)
About twenty educators and community members met last Monday to
create a launch
committee with Peig Schmitz and Larry Stinn volunteering to be co-
meeting reviewed the project goals and discussed the starting of
programs for the
summer. "Lights On" will "strengthen existing programs" and not
according to Russell.
Representatives discussed services and programs currently being
provided to kids
and families in the community.
Those in attendance: Mike Walker, DHHR; Henry Cooper, Calhoun
CreelFox, Minnora Community Center; Susan Graham, Heartwood in the
Lynch, Principal Calhoun Middle School; Tony Richards, parent; Gail
representing Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito; Sheri Graham,
Arnoldsburg School; Larry Stinn, principal of Pleasant Hill; Linda
Schools; George Ward, Calhoun Schools; Connie Roberts, Calhoun
Schools; P. J.
Moore, CRI/Little Kanawha Bus Company; Deb Ball, WVU Extension; Rev.
FRN; Jim Morford, DHHR; Bob Weaver, Pres. of Calhoun Commission; Dr.
Rentschler, Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center.
A summer planning meeting will be held on Tuesday April 24 at 9 a.m.
with the full
advisory group meeting on May 3 at 9 a.m.