Harrisburg (August 16, 2023) – The Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) was recently awarded $352,000 in federal funding to help expectant and parenting students stay in school, graduate, secure employment, and become successful parents and adults.
The funding was awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through Pennsylvania’s Education Leading to Employment and Career Training Program (ELECT). The program coordinates the continuity of educational services and community resources for pregnant and parenting youth, under 22 years of age within school districts and cyber and charter schools.
“Parenting or expecting a child while enrolled in school presents a unique set of challenges to students and their families,” said Comitta, who serves on the Senate Education Committee. “These funds will support important programs that aim to help students overcome these obstacles, avoid interruptions to learning, and beat the odds by graduating and pursuing successful jobs and careers.”
“In public education, we often come across students who face unique challenges. Our expectant and parenting students are no exception. With this generous funding, we’re not just supporting the dreams of young parents; we’re nurturing the futures of their children and enriching our community as a whole. I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Senator Comitta for her unwavering dedication to public education and her commitment to ensuring that all our students have the resources and support they need to succeed. This initiative is a testament to what can be achieved when we come together for the betterment of our next generation,” said Dr. George F. Fiore, CCIU Executive Director.
The ELECT program aims to support eligible pregnant and parenting youth in growing into productive, successful, and self-sufficient parents and adults.
The program also provides participants, through a combination of group and one-on-one sessions and home visits, with pregnancy prevention information, guidance and services to reduce the incidence of a second pregnancy, services to promote the importance of healthy parental relationships, and strategies and supports to encourage parents to play a significant role in their children’s lives.
“Expectant and parenting students are at risk of barriers to successful academic and career outcomes, especially if access to resources and community support is limited,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “This grant funding will enable students to receive the assistance they need to ensure their learning isn’t interrupted, allowing them to graduate with opportunities to contribute meaningfully to their family and community.”
The CCIU funding comes as part of $13.5 million in total federal ELECT funding awarded to 26 school entities statewide.