In keeping with a practice of several years, the town of Hagerstown is donating money to Communities In Schools Wayne County.

Town Council agreed on Nov. 6 to give $7,000 to the Richmond-based nonprofit after a presentation from its executive director, Becky Murray. CIS provides a paid part-time site coordinator at both Nettle Creek schools: Rachel Mull at Hagerstown Elementary and Alison King at Hagerstown Jr.-Sr. High. They spoke to the council about their work. 

Working alongside teachers and school staff, CIS coordinators help ensure that students have adequate clothing, food, and health and social services. They provide a liaison to community resources, knowing where to turn for help in meeting needs, Murray said. The goal is to meet basic needs so that students can concentrate on learning.

Nettle Creek School Superintendent Emily Schaeffer attended the meeting, telling the council, “I can’t tell you how much of an integral part for our schools they are. Their relationships with teachers, students and in the community can’t be replaced.”

In past years, Hagerstown has donated $5,000 to CIS early in the year and sometimes supplemented it with $2,000 later in the year. Because the council had not made a donation earlier this year, council member Brian Longbons motioned to make one donation of $7,000. Council agreed.

In other business, Hagerstown Fire Chief Rick Cole said the town will probably apply in early 2024 for a planning grant for fire station expansion. The first step in the application process is conducting an income survey of town residents.

Town Manager Chris LaMar announced that WIPB, a public television station from Muncie, is interviewing town residents for shows that will air in March.

The council’s next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, in Town Hall, 49 E. College St. The public may attend.

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A version of this article appeared in the November 15 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.