Youngstown Kiwanis pays for Alpha's field trip buses

Without the help of the Kiwanis, there would be no field trips for Alpha pupils.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Kiwanis Club of Downtown Youngstown will make field trips a reality for the pupils at Alpha School of Excellence for Boys this spring.
Representatives of the club were to visit a school assembly at Alpha today to present a check of 540 to finance pupil field trips.
Richard S. Scarsella, special education department chairman at Alpha, wrote a grant proposal to the Kiwanis asking for the club's assistance.
With budget cuts hitting the city school district as it struggles to recover from its fiscal emergency status, there was just no money to pay for field trips to enhance the educational experience of Alpha's pupils, he said.
Alpha has about 225 boys in grades seven through nine.
Scarsella said his request asked for money to enrich the school's curriculum and meet state Department of Education academic benchmarks by using field trip activities.
"It won't meet all of our needs, but it will certainly make a big difference," he said.
Field trips are open to the entire student body, but pupils must earn the privilege of participating in such activities through academic and personal performance.
Importance of grant
Without the grant, those trips couldn't happen, Scarsella said.
"That's what we do," said Thomas Eisenbraun, Kiwanis Club president. "We raise money on our radio auction, and this is what we do with our money. It's for the benefit of the young people of the Mahoning Valley."
Kiwanis members realize the financial problems facing the city school district, and this contribution will pay for the buses the pupils need to get to their field trips, he said.
Trips on the schedule this year include visits to the President William McKinley Museum in Niles, Camp Stambaugh in Canfield, Mill Creek MetroParks' Ford Nature Museum and the Mahoning County Experimental Farm, Scarsella said.
The Kiwanis Club has a more permanent presence in both Alpha and the Athena School of Excellence for Girls in the city school district.
The club has opened chapters of the Kiwanis Leadership Building Club at both schools, involving the children in school and community improvement projects.

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