CHILLICOTHE — Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center received a $104,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education that will benefit students with disabilities.

The two-year grant provides $50,000 from December through June with the remainder awarded July 1. A bulk of this year’s funding is going toward the Read 180 program, which will allow the school to expand the program to accommodate 60 students.

“If a student can increase his or her reading comprehension, chances are he or she is going to be much more successful in adult life,” said Dana Anderson, Special Services supervisor, who worked with academic specialist Susan Schwalbauch to submit the grant.

Another life skill that will be addressed is tied to students’ ability to become licensed drivers or develop strategies they can use to get to jobs. A large part of the funding from the second year will be used to purchase a driving simulator that will help staff members assess students’ ability to drive, Anderson said.

Anderson and Schwalbauch used the career center’s GRIT program as the foundation for the grant application, in which ODE sought strategies for self-determination and self-advocacy for students with disabilities.

“GRIT promotes students making good choices,” Anderson said.

GRIT, an acronym for gratitude, respect, initiative and tenacity, was created by Pickaway-Ross teachers during the summer and implemented in August.

The first GRIT assembly, when more than two dozen students will be recognized for exemplifying GRIT, took place Thursday, Jan. 9.

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