Iroquois School District Receives Big Money to Fight Drug Abuse - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Iroquois School District Receives Big Money to Fight Drug Abuse

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The Iroquois School District, and the communities it serves, now have a lot of money to fight substance abuse among young people. The district was awarded a federal grant totaling $625,000 to be used for programs to address its growing drug problem.

According to Congressman Glenn Thompson, the district will receive $125,000 annually over the next five years. The Drug Free Community Grant was announced by Thompson today at a ceremony at Iroquois Elementary School.

A coalition of community leaders, along with parents and students, have been working for the past three years to combat substance abuse problems in the school district. The coalition was formed after two Iroquois graduates lost their lives due to a heroin overdose. Coalition members took on the challenge of applying for the federal grant knowing the competition would be fierce, and that the application was 125 pages long. They were denied once, but this year,  they tried again, and were successful.

"It was pure excitement and utter shock that we were afforded the opportunity for the grant.  But really, just great triumph and excitement for this community and the district," said Maria Modzelewski, Coalition Team Member and School Psychologist.

Competition for the money was fierce. Only 70 grants were awarded nationwide, and only four went to school districts.

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