Today’s news:

School Dist. 26 receives $220,000 state grant

The grant, recognized...

By Kathianne Boniello

For the second consecutive year School District 26 in northeast Queens has beat out school districts around the state to win a more than $200,000 grant to be put toward staff development, Deputy Superintendent Anita Saunders said.

The grant, recognized by School Board 26 at its monthly meeting last Thursday, was issued by the state Department of Education, Saunders said, and District 26 was chosen to receive the grant from districts around the state. School District 26 received a similar state grant last year.

The state grant was in addition to the $51,419 the district has received from recent parent-teacher association fund-raisers throughout the district. In all, School District 26 has gotten $271,419.

School District 26 includes schools in the communities of Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Glen Oaks, Oakland Gardens, Hollis Hills, and parts of Auburndale, Flushing, Queens Village and Bellerose.

Teacher training funded by the $220,000 state grant would be concentrated in subjects like English language arts and math so the district can continue to meet higher state standards, Saunders said.

While the amount the district won was less than the $300,000 it originally requested, Saunders expressed joy at the district’s achievement. The funds will be used in the current school year.

“We are very, very happy to receive it,” she said. “For us this is very helpful.”

State Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Bayside) said he was happy to help District 26 get the money.

“I am delighted to have been able to help secure the $220,000 for District 26 for teacher training, especially because it is money that will not have to come out of their operating funds,” Weprin said. “Now more money can go directly to classrooms and increasing programs in the districts.”

In addition to the $220,000, which Saunders said would be used for teacher training, seminars and materials, the district received $40,268 from parent-teacher associations from 16 of the district’s elementary schools.

According to the School Board 26 meeting agenda from March 22, the $40,268 was raised by groups from PS 18 in Queens Village; PS 26 and 173 in Flushing; PS 133 and 186 in Bellerose; PS 98 in Douglaston; PS 191 in Floral Park; PS 94 and 221 in Little Neck and PS 31, 41, 46, 159, 162, 205 and 213 in Bayside.

The more than $40,000 will fund a program that brings kids from District 26 to the Bronx Zoo for a variety of activities, the agenda said.

In separate contributions, the Parent Association of PS 213 raised $7,050 and the Parent-Teacher Association of PS 162 in Bayside gathered $4,100 for the purchase of literacy books for their respective schools. The books will be used for both schools’ Talented and Gifted Program.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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