Eudora — A community effort paid off for Eudora schools when the district received word Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Education had awarded it a four-year $750,000 grant to promote healthy living.
The money is part of $74 million in grants awarded to 27 states as part of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative. Eudora USD 491 was the only school district in Kansas to receive the grant.
It is not immediately known how the district will use the money.
"It was really quite a surprise, but a pleasant surprise. I quickly contacted the U.S. Department of Education and was able to get ahold of someone who could confirm with us that indeed we had been awarded the grant and talked a little bit about the details," said Don Grosdidier, Eudora interim superintendent of schools.
The grant application was the result of community-wide discussions about improving students' lives. Some 23 representatives from several agencies met in March to discuss the effort, including the Bert Nash Center, the Eudora City Council, the Eudora Chamber of Commerce, Douglas County Youth Services, the Eudora School district and the Eudora Police Department.
The proposal that emerged aligned with the goals of the federal grant to improve the quality of life of community children in specific areas, including safety; drug and alcohol prevention; behavioral, social and emotional supports; mental health services; and early childhood and parenting programs.
Grosdidier, who began in his duties Tuesday as the district's interim superintendent, was assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction when the grant application was written in March.
He said after-school programs were possible uses for the grant and programs could begin in the fall.