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August 31, 1999

Ryan Awards Grant To Expand Murphysboro "School-In-A-School"

MURPHYSBORO - Governor George H. Ryan today awarded a $240,000 grant to help expand Murphysboro High School's "Positive Action for Continuing Education" program that helps at-risk students complete their education.

The P.A.C.E. program, also known as a "school-within-a-school," is aimed at students whose special needs are not met within a traditional school setting. The program serves between 20 and 30 high school students each year.

"Alternative education programs like the one here at Murphysboro help students who need help get on track with their lives. I think that's very important," Ryan said. "My goal is to help anyone wants to learn and improve their skills get the education that they need.

"Whether it's someone who has had to drop out of school, someone who can't attend regularly scheduled classes, or older students who want to come back and get their diplomas, education is the key to a richer and better life," the Governor added.

In April, during a tour of Murphysboro High School to look at how technology is used in the classroom, Ryan was briefed about the P.A.C.E. program and a funding shortfall that does not allow the initiative to reach all of the students that could benefit. The governor promised to help find extra resources for the program.

The $240,000 grant will be used over the next three years to expand the program and to develop a demonstration model for other schools.

"The "school within a school" at Murphysboro High is a tremendous example for others of what caring teachers, caring parents and a caring community can do to help at-risk students," Ryan said.

The P.A.C.E. program helps students who are experiencing difficulties in reaching their academic potential. The program provides daily monitoring of school work, peer mentoring, exam preparation and crisis intervention. The services also include training in conflict resolution, anger management, community service and projects that develop specific job-related skills.


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