ESC of Eastern Ohio Aids 25 School Districts

CANFIELD, Ohio – Last year, more than $1 million in grants enabled the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio to implement new programs across 25 school districts.

The ESCEO delivers resources and professional development opportunities to support local teacher and administrator growth while improving student learning and whole-child development, says Traci Hostetler, ESC superintendent.

By pursuing local, state and federal grants, the agency can keep costs low while maximizing impact. “In the past year, the ESCEO has secured more than $1 million in grant funding; another $11 million is pending approval,” Hostetler says.

With a $400,000 state grant, the agency developed a model comprehensive literacy site, which allows for the implementation of research-based literacy practices aligned with Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement. The initiative provides preschool teachers with support through learning opportunities and a literacy coach.

Another $136,000 grant is being used to provide professional learning opportunities to more than 100 educators, Hostetler says. Available trainings include tools and teaching strategies for writing instruction across all subject areas, and AIM Pathways to Proficient Reading, which offers best practices for language and literacy instruction.

In May, ESC career counselors launched the Building Trades Pre-apprenticeship Program with 10 school districts. The program is in partnership with The Ohio Carpenters’ Joint Apprenticeship and The Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Students earn a 24-point industry-recognized credential in the carpentry trade with the opportunity of direct access to an apprenticeship following graduation.

A $400,000 grant aided schools in purchasing hand tools, safety equipment, building supplies and the Ohio Carpenters’ Career Connections Learning Management System, Hostetler says.

Since 2019, the ESCEO has received more than $110,000 to support its social and emotional learning initiatives, she adds. The agency collaborates with school districts to provide professional learning for educators to learn SEL strategies.

In December, the ESCEO was awarded more than $14,000 to host professional learning opportunities that guide teachers in their abilities to empower students through critical thinking. The grant funds workshops and in-depth book studies featuring “Inspiring Student Empowerment” by Patti Drapeau and “Thinking Like a Lawyer” by Colin Seale.