Tri-County donates to sponsor alternative school student

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Another student is able to utilize the alternative school program at the Youth Service Bureau thanks to a sponsorship-donation from Tri-County Bank & Trust.

Presenting a check for $2,500 personally on Friday, Tri-County President and CEO Chuck Dixon and Vice President Steven McLaughlin both said they were happy to provide the cost of the annual enrollment fee for a fortunate student.

“We’re a community bank and we want to be involved in our community,” Dixon said. “What better place to start than our kids? We want to be sure every student has a chance.”

The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau has been offering alternative school and credit recovery classes since it established the program in 2014. Since that time, more than 600 credits have been recovered for nearly 200 students.

YSB Executive Director Karen Branch said a morning and an afternoon session are held each day at the facility located in the former Mills Elementary School. With up to 15 students per session, the bureau can support upward of 30 a day.

“We serve students from all three school corporations in Montgomery County,” Branch said. “We serve students who have been suspended, who’ve been expelled or who just aren’t benefiting from that more traditional school setting.”

Because Crawfordsville, Southmont and North Montgomery have made financial investments in the YSB, 10 seats are allotted for students from each district.

Local businesses, churches and individuals have all donated to the YSB in one way or another, Branch said. The former Trinity United Methodist Church nearby is using some of its remaining funds to sponsor a student as well.

“When I first went on the board (for Crawfordsville schools) we would meet in various buildings and we had one of board meetings at the alternative school in a downtown building,” said McLaughlin, who serves as president of the Crawfordsville School Board. “It was dark, dismal, poorly lit, and when (Branch) showed me the classroom where they’re meeting now, it’s just amazing that they got this facility and that they can do this.”

Classrooms offer all-new computers, acquired with the help of the Montgomery County Community Foundation.

“It’s just wonderful to see the kids come in and have space that feels good and that they know we value them because of the kind of space we’re providing,” Branch said.

The YSB is always accepting donations for student enrollment fees and variety of programs.

“The alternative school is our most under-funded program, so we’re always looking for financial resources to make sure we can continue the program,” Branch added. “Tri-County stepped right up and helped us with that.”

For more information about the YSB, a United Fund Partner Agency, or how to make a donation, contact the bureau at 765-362-0694. Donations are also accepted by mail and online at www.mcysb.org.

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