Six Local Districts to Make Schools Safer With $ 140k Investment, Blake Says

HARRISBURG, Feb. 25, 2014 – To better protect students throughout Northeast Pennsylvania, state Sen. John Blake today said six districts will share in more than $140,000 from the commonwealth’s Safe Schools Initiative.

The Safe Schools Targeted Grants help school administrators create and execute plans designed to reduce and prevent violence. One-hundred-ten districts throughout Pennsylvania received a total of $2.6 million this year under the program.

“Recent history has shown us that tragedies can happen in our schools,” Sen. Blake said. “It is unfortunate that such circumstances must occupy our attention, but it is very good news that we have resources to invest in our schools to make them safer for our students, teachers, and administrators.

“School is a place for learning; not fear. I am confident that districts in NEPA receiving Safe Schools grants will use them well to ensure students can stay focused on building knowledge and choosing careers for a better future in Pennsylvania,” he said.

NEPA districts receiving Safe Schools Targeted Grants include Pocono Mountain ($25,000), Monroe Career & Technology Institute ($25,000), Pittston Area ($25,000), Lakeland ($24,996), Valley View ($22,800), and Scranton ($18,990).

Grants were awarded following a competitive application process administered by the state Department of Education’s Office for Safe Schools.

Districts may spend the money to address school violence through some of the following:

  •  Conflict resolution or dispute management,
  •  Peer helpers programs,
  •  Risk assessment or violence prevention curricula,
  •  Classroom management,
  •  Student codes of conduct,
  •  Development and implementation of research-based violence prevention programs that address risk factors,  including bullying, and
  •  Comprehensive, district-wide school safety and violence prevention plans.

“The Safe Schools Targeted Grants will help districts provide peace-of-mind through proactive measures proven to work,” Blake said.



Sen. Blake Announces Student Ambassador Program

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18, 2013 – State Sen. John Blake today said he is encouraging dedicated high school seniors to apply to become student ambassadors.

Blake’s Student Ambassador Program is an opportunity for one senior from each of the 17 high schools in the 22nd Senatorial District to learn about citizenship, public service and state lawmaking.

“This program offers a unique opportunity for students who may have an interest in public service and who want to make a positive difference in their communities,” the senator said. “I am looking forward to engaging serious young women and men who are interested in the hard work of government and in offering them an insider’s view of the lawmaking process.”

Students from Abington Heights, Carbondale, Dunmore, Forest City, Holy Cross, Lackawanna Trail, Lakeland, Mid Valley, North Pocono, Old Forge, Pittston Area, Pocono Mountain, Riverside, Scranton, Scranton Prep, Valley View and West Scranton are eligible to apply for Sen. Blake’s Student Ambassador Program.

Applications for the program are available in each school’s guidance office.

Between December and May, student ambassadors will participate in a schedule of events and presentations with the senator and his staff — including time at the State Capitol — and all will compete for college scholarship assistance through the completion of a critical thinking project and presentation.

For more information, contact Sen. Blake’s district office, 570-207-2881 or review information posted online at