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Autism Society of Mahoning Valley awards mini grants to teachers

The program was revived in 2017 to show appreciation and support for teachers in the Mahoning Valley who help children and teens on the autism spectrum.
Autism Teacher Mini Grants
From left, intervention specialists Jennifer Galanis, Stacy Barthlemess and Jodi Kelly are the first-, second- and third-place winners, respectively, of Autism Teacher Mini Grants, awarded by the Autism Society of Mahoning Valley. (Contributed photos)

YOUNGSTOWN — Jennifer Galanis, an intervention specialist at East Liverpool City Schools, is the winner of a $500 Autism Teacher Mini Grant, awarded by the Autism Society of Mahoning Valley.

Galanis plans to create a student-run coffee cafe to teach life and business skills. The grant will help purchase a coffee cart, coffee and tea pots, coffee and tea, cups and lids and other food items, a news release states.

Stacy Barthlemess, an intervention specialist at Fairhaven/Trumbull County Board of Developmental Disabilities in Niles, was awarded a $250 grant for second place. Jodi Kelly, an intervention specialist at Columbiana ESC-Salem Junior High MD, received a $100 grant for third place.

According to the release, Barthlemess will use the grant to provide Grow With Me raised beds for access to planting, caring and harvesting vegetables and flowers for her students with autism, as well as those who have mobility limitations. Kelly will use the grant to purchase sensory items, alternative seating and/or art supplies to support the sensory and behavioral needs of her students.

The Autism Society of Mahoning Valley revived the Autism Teacher Mini Grant program in 2017 to show appreciation and support for teachers in the Mahoning Valley who help children and teens on the autism spectrum. The Autism Society of Mahoning Valley Board, a group consisting of community members and parents, reviewed applications and selected the winners.

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