State Grant Will Support Learning Opportunities for Local Students Facing Extended School Absences

HARRISBURG – Students throughout the region who are facing extended absences from school due to injuries or illnesses will soon have new educational resources thanks to a state grant that was awarded this week, according to Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), who supported the creation of the new grant program.

A $30,000 grant to Intermediate Unit 1 from the Keystone Telepresence Grant Program will support the purchase of audio and video equipment that will allow students to participate in classroom activities in real time from home. The organization serves students throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.

The grant program was created earlier this year to support students facing the potential of significant educational and developmental challenges due to extended school absences. A total of $300,000 was awarded through the program statewide.

In current practice, homebound education is available to students who cannot attend school due to serious medical issues. However, many schools struggle to find a qualified teacher to provide instruction, and the extended amount of time away from classmates and teachers can also create difficult circumstances for children, Bartolotta said.

“Students who are homebound for weeks or months while fighting to recover from illnesses or injuries should not also face the risk of falling behind in school and missing out on valuable time with their peers,” Bartolotta said. “This grant will help more children continue to learn alongside their classmates and benefit from the support of their friends and teachers at a time when they need them most.”

The Keystone Telepresence Grant Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

# # #

CONTACT: Katrina Hanna (717) 787-1463