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Safe Schools Grant Money Awarded

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN — Ever since the shootings in Connecticut, there has been a lot of talk about security at schools.

Pennsylvania just awarded school all over the state about $500,000 in grant money under the Safe School program.

One of the schools is the Schuylkill Haven school district.

On Tuesday, 3rd and 4th graders, ready for Christmas and full of joy, and sang to the school staff. Some of the children are the same ages of those shot and killed in the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut. Middle School Principal Linda Berdanier said she has mixed emotions.

“Because of the tragedy in Connecticut, you go from the happy joy that the students bring to you through their singing to those families right before Christmas, what they’re dealing with.”

The Schuylkill Haven school district was just awarded a $6,400 Safe Schools state grant. The money will be used to teach the staff how to deal with students who have some stress issues when learning which could turn to violence.

Sarah Yoder applied for the grant for the district.

“The relationships you have with all of the students, so they’re comfortable communicating if they know of a problem that they would share that with a teacher or an adult so that something like that could be prevented,” Yoder explained.

School Superintendent Lorraine Felker said school safety is a priority.

“The best way you can avoid any violence at school is the relationships you form with students. For the kids to know the faculty and to have the skills, when to deal with getting frustrated, getting anxious.”

School officials believe the crisis training will begin in 2013 and will involve about a dozen teachers.