New Albany News

City Council gives schools $2,500 grant for Challenge Day


New Albany City Council on Feb. 19 agreed to give the New Albany-Plain Local School District a $2,500 grant, if the district raises $2,500 in matching funds, for Challenge Day.

Challenge Day is a national program that encourages students to learn more about their peers, promoting acceptance and compassion.

Elizabeth Gonda, New Albany Middle School's assistant principal, and Marilyn Troyer, the district's chief of innovation, improvement and human capital, told City Council the program was offered to eighth-graders and cost the district $17,000 this year.

Funds were raised through an anti-bullying walk during the district's annual Peace Week celebration and through donations.

Councilman Chip Fellows said he heard some concerns from parents about the sensitive nature of what was discussed during Challenge Day and asked the district officials to send more information about the event to parents next year.

At the Feb. 5 meeting, City Council set $6,500 aside for the program. Chris Wolfe made a motion Feb. 19 to offer up to $2,500 in matching money for the district and Fellows seconded the motion.

"We work really hard to encourage these organizations to raise their own money and these folks did it," Wolfe said. "If they need more, they can come back and ask for more."

City Council voted 5-0 for the motion, with Colleen Briscoe and Stephen Pleasnick absent.

City Council allocated $97,000 for community grants in 2013. It approved grants totaling $90,500 for seven other organizations Feb. 5.