School receives boost from local bank

FOLLANSBEE – Children with special needs at Hooverson Heights Primary School have received a boost through a grant program established by a local bank.

Nicole Ennis, school principal, and Denise Spensky, president of its PTA, announced the Hancock County Savings Bank Charitable Foundation has awarded a $2,180 grant for 25 children at the school with autism and other special needs.

Jami Dantry, who with Amy Demi serve as occupational therapists for the pupils, said the money will pay for two iPods through which the children will alternate listening to classical music and sounds from nature.

Dantry said the music and sounds, which are conveyed through the Listening Program, an Internet service, help children who suffer from high or low auditory sensitivity related to developmental disabilities to better process sound.

She said the pupils use headphones acquired by Meredith Hood, a first-grade teacher at the school, for her own classroom when using the Internet and the pupils with special needs through a donation by Hood’s Pharmacy matched by the Brooke County Board of Education.

Dantry said she hopes to acquire funds for additional iPods and headphones for children with special needs at other schools.

She expressed thanks to Spensky, also a member of Hooverson Heights’ school improvement council, who applied for the grant.

It was among $37,323 in grants awarded by the foundation to 26 schools, charities and other nonprofit groups in the Tri-State Area.

Catherine Ferrari, bank president and chief executive officer and chairman of its charitable foundation, said the foundation was established 13 years ago through a $1 million investment by the bank.

Since then more than $500,000 has been awarded to more than 80 local service and support organizations determined by a volunteer board of directors.

“We have been very fortunate to have been able to help many nonprofit organizations and schools,” she said.

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