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Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley donates $3K to Leonard Kirtz School

The funds will go toward new playground equipment for the school.
Hope Foundation - Leonard Kirtz School
From left are George Gabriel, The Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley board member; Gina Symsek, director of education at the Leonard Kirtz School; and Anthony Spano, executive director of The Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. (Contributed photo)

AUSTINTOWN — The Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley recently donated $3,000 to the Leonard Kirtz School for new playground equipment.

The school at 4791 Woodridge Drive is operated by the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Efforts began in 2020 to raise $250,000 for new equipment.

“Our kids have so many different levels of disability and mobility. We want something a little more interactive and accessible for all ages and all disabilities,” Gina Symsek, director of education, said in a news release. “The lack of playground equipment has been an issue for more than 30 years.”

The Leonard Kirtz School provides comprehensive programs and education for school-age children with developmental disabilities. The school offers related services in the areas of speech, physical therapy and contracted occupational therapy to students in need of intervention. Other related services available to all students include nursing, transportation and case management, according to the school’s website.

“We see the need to help these children,” said Anthony Spano, executive director of The Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. “The all-wheelchair-accessible equipment required is extremely expensive, and every donation makes an impact toward making this playground a reality for the school.”

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