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CREC Public Safety Academy Awarded $150,000 Planning Grant from Barr Foundation

(Enfield, CT)— The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) today announced that CREC Public Safety Academy was named one of nine grantees in Engage New England: Doing high school differently, a new initiative by the Barr Foundation’s education program. CREC Public Safety Academy received a $150,000 planning grant to develop a program over the next year to help disengaged students graduate high school and guide them toward a postsecondary education or employment. The “Personalized Success Academy” would offer individualized educational opportunities and address students’ social, academic and emotional needs. The staff to student ratio would be approximately one staff member for every 10 students, allowing positive relationships to develop and ensuring each student’s needs are recognized. The planning grant will be used to carry out key activities to prepare for the implementation of the “Personalized Success Academy,” including collecting and reviewing data, conducting research, refining the school model, recruiting staff and students, providing professional development and developing curriculum. CREC Public Safety Academy joins the first cohort of education innovators participating in the Foundation’s multiyear initiative to connect students to success in high school and beyond.

“We are grateful to the Barr Foundation for their support and are excited to get to work on this new venture to help more students reach their education and career goals,” said CREC Public Safety Academy Principal Jeff Larson. “Young people need a safe place to learn and grow, and through this grant, we can provide additional supports for students who need them and be a launching point for postsecondary success.”

New England: Doing high school differently is a $30 million investment over five years to help New England innovators improve existing high schools and bring new school models to life in their communities. Participants receive one-year planning grants to support technical assistance with planning and capacity building, with the potential to be invited to apply for implementation grants of up to $750,000 over two years. Intentionally designed around the principles of positive youth development theory, schools supported under this initiative will be as rigorous as they are flexible in developing content knowledge, successful habits, creative know-how and navigation abilities—the integrated knowledge and skills that are essential for today’s students to connect to success in high school, college, career and community.

“This partnership brings together a diverse group of educators who share the belief that all students can meet high expectations when their schools engage their interests, empower their potential and fully prepare them for success in life,” said Leah Hamilton, the Barr Foundation’s Director of Education. “We are thrilled to include CREC Public Safety Academy in our first cohort of Engage New England: Doing high school differently grantees, and to support them in a planning process to refine their vision for cohesive school models that address the unique needs of their students and communities.”

About the Barr Foundation
The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. With assets of $1.7 billion, Barr is among the largest private foundations in New England and has contributed more than $834 million to charitable causes since 1999. For more information, visit

BARR MEDIA CONTACT: Stefan Lanfer, 617-854-3404,

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