Community News

Salamanca Schools Receive $474K Grant for Seneca Youth Program

By Kellen M. Quigley | Jan. 11, 2020 | Reprinted from

SALAMANCA — The Salamanca City Central School District has received a $474,000 grant from the State Education Department for the My Brother’s Keeper Native American program, district officials recently announced.

At the Board of Education’s Tuesday meeting, Dr. Mark Beehler, assistant superintendent for academic services, informed the board of the school’s success in receiving the grant.

“We have been allocated a little over $474,000 to be distributed over the next three years,” he said. “A lot more (info) will be coming out in the near future, but that’s exciting.”

The funds would focus on providing mentorship for Native American males and the development of a comprehensive Indigenous Peoples education curriculum for grades K-12, Beehler explained.

“I anticipate on the February board agenda, there will be some anticipated new hires that will assist us with that because that’s what some of that funding is for,” he added.

Beehler also thanked the Seneca Nation for their cooperation and involvement with acquiring the grant, including at the district-Nation summit held in the fall.

About two years ago, the Salamanca school district received approximately $90,000 in a grant through the same program.

The district, located within the Seneca Nation’s Allegany Territory, is comprised of about 1,400 students in grades K-12, about a third which identify as Native American.

The purpose of the My Brother’s Keeper program is to increase the academic achievement and college/career readiness of Native American students, with an emphasis on boys and young men.