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APOLLO-RIDGE RECEIVES SAFETY GRANT

Pennsylvania awards school safety grants to 150-plus districts
Recipients of funding include Freeport Area and Apollo-Ridge
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) on Monday announced the recipients of more than $9 million in competitive 2020-2021 Safe Schools Targeted Grants — including two Armstrong County-based school districts.
The grants — which went to recipients including Freeport Area School District ($20,850) and Apollo-Ridge School District ($12,435) — are awarded to schools to prevent and reduce violent incidents, to purchase safety and security-related equipment, and to provide for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers.
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Kate Myers’ storm drain art in Apollo Borough discourages dumping of pollutants down storm drains into waterway

Restoration of the Kiskiminetas River by multiple groups is a great accomplishment, Apollo-Ridge student says

By apanian@leadertimes.com | on November 16, 2020

By ANNE CLOONAN
Staff Reporter
Apollo-Ridge student Kate Myers shows an example of storm drain art she and other students will design and paint around storm drains in Apollo Borough. The design features a rainbow trout, a freshwater mussel and the words “Only Rain Down the Drain!”

Apollo-Ridge student Kate Myers shows an example of storm drain art she and other students will design and paint around storm drains in Apollo Borough. The design features a rainbow trout, a freshwater mussel and the words “Only Rain Down the Drain!”

In 1983, officers of the state Department of Environmental Resources came to search the Kiskiminetas River for signs of life.

They found only one frog.

Now, the river, formerly stained with acid orange mine runoff, is green and contains more than 16 species of fish, and Apollo-Ridge student Kate Myers wants to keep it pristine.

To that end, she is doing a storm drain art project in Apollo Borough.

The return of hellbenders, a type of salamander very sensitive to water pollution, and of species of freshwater mussels to the Kiskiminetas River also demonstrates the improvement in the river’s water quality, Kate said.

The project, which was approved by Apollo Borough Council members in October, will place small paintings on storm drains to remind people not to dump chemicals into the storm drains, and thence into the Kiskiminetas River.

Kate said a core group of Apollo-Ridge students, which will include Madelyn Smoyer, Gavin McCall and Keyvahn McCray, as well as other interested students, will help create designs for 10 to 12 storm drains.

The students will work with Bernie Wilke of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) ArtsPath, a program that she said seeks to combine art with different facets of the school and community.

Kate is also working with Cris Kostiuk of the Apollo Ridge Education Foundation, and with Apollo-Ridge gifted teacher Danielle White.

The drains selected will be in Apollo Plaza and in other areas with high foot traffic, Kate said.

She hopes to do paintings of a number of native species that live in the river.

In February, Kate plans to return to Apollo council when the students have more concrete designs, locations and potential dates to do the work. She hopes to begin the work in April.

Kate said photographer Felicity Rocco will also be documenting the students’ work in photos.

She said her purpose in doing the project is two-fold.

“It’s about keeping our environment clean and knowing how important it is for us and the other living creatures,” she said Friday.

“Also, I want to expose people to public art.”

“Art doesn’t have to be something you see on the wall in a museum,” she added.

“It can be engaging, and it can be educational, and it can be a community activity.”

Kate hopes to go to college and pursue a degree in art.

“Ideally, I’d be a world-famous artist, but realistically, I’d like to share my passion for education and art with students,” she said Friday.

Kate is the daughter of Dana and Lance Myers. She is a junior at Apollo-Ridge High School.

Anne Cloonan is a staff reporter for the Leader Times. She can be reached at 724- 543-1303, ext. 1337, or acloonan@leadertimes.com.
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TWO ELEMENTARY STUDENTS TEST POSITIVE

The district received notification that two students at Apollo-Ridge Elementary School, as well as a student and staff member at Apollo-Ridge High School, have tested positive for COVID-19. These individuals were either previously quarantined or already participating in remote instruction, so there are no school-identified close contacts at this time. The Department of Health will complete further contact tracing as necessary for non-school interactions. If you do not receive additional communications from the school or Department of Health, your child is presently not thought to be among those who were potentially exposed. For more detailed information, please visit the district webpage www.apolloridge.com. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
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DISTRICT TRANSITIONING TO REMOTE LEARNING

The Apollo-Ridge School District is transitioning to remote instruction for all students with a projected return to in-person learning on January 18, 2021. The high school will continue as current. Middle school will begin Wednesday, November 18 and the elementary starts Monday, November 23. For more details, please view the attached letter. Thank you for your continued cooperation, patience, and flexibility.
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