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Merrimack Valley

May 24, 2013

Lawrence receives $2.3M to protect against lead paint

LAWRENCE — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $15 million in grants to six local projects in Massachusetts, including Lawrence, to protect children and families from the hazards of lead-based paint and from other home health and safety hazards.

The city of Lawrence will be awarded $2.3 million in Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control grant program funding and an additional $200,000 in Healthy Homes Initiative funding. The city will address lead hazards in 160 housing units providing safer homes for low and very low-income families with children. The city will also perform healthy homes assessments in 100 units.

The city will collaborate with the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Institute for Environmental Education, Lawrence General Hospital, Massachusetts Department of Health/Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, the Mayor’s Health Task Force, Youthbuild, and the Lawrence Housing Authority. Contact Person: Evelyn Urena, 978-620-3518, eurena@cityoflawrence.com.

The awards are a part of $98.3 million in funds awarded to 38 projects across the country to clean up lead paint hazards and other health hazards in 6,373 high-risk homes, train workers in lead-safe work practices, and increase public awareness about childhood lead poisoning. Lead is a known toxin that can impair children’s development and have effects lasting into adulthood.

Haverhill High students get early introduction to career academies

HAVERHILL — Administrators have expanded opportunities for students to explore Haverhill High School’s academies as early as their freshman year, beginning with the Class of 2017. The high school’s academy system, entering its third year, was previously open only to students in their sophomore through senior years. However, curriculum changes that will begin in the 2013-2014 school year will allow qualifying freshmen to sign up for one elective in the STEM, eBiT, Fine Arts or Humanities academies.

Assistant Superintendent Mary Malone said the change gives the majority of freshmen the option to try a course in a career-focused academy of their choice. If it’s a good fit, the student can declare for that academy, much as a college student would declare a major, and follow the course selections for that academy through his or her years at Haverhill High.

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