READING, October 17, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs has awarded the Pennsylvania Department of Education $1 million to equip students and educators across the state with strategies to prevent school violence, State Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks), State Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-126th District) and State Rep. Tom Caltagirone (D-127th District) announced.

The following Reading School District schools will receive funds awarded through the STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program and authorized by the STOP School Violence Act enacted in March 2018:

  • Northeast Middle School
  • Northwest Middle School
  • Reading Intermediate High School
  • Reading Senior High School
  • Southern Middle School
  • Southwest Middle School

“This funding will help Reading School District better serve its students,” Schwank said. “Students need a safe environment to focus on their studies, and this money will help provide that setting.”

“Students, faculty and staff all deserve to learn and work in a safe environment, we must do everything we can to support them,” Rozzi said.

“In this day and age, we must do all we can to equip our students and educators with tools they can use to keep safe. This funding will go a long way toward achieving that goal,” Caltagirone said.

The Department of Education is working with Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a national, nonprofit organization established following the mass shooting at a Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 to provide training to educators and students across the state.

The funding will be used to implement SHP’s Start With Hello and Say Something, which are among SHP’s Know the Signs programs aimed at empowering students. Start With Hello encourages and guides students in creating socially inclusive school communities, while Say Something trains students to recognize the signs and appropriately intervene when they identify someone as exhibiting behaviors that they may be a threat to themselves or others.