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News from around the Baltimore region

September 18, 2005

MARYLAND

$100,000 MTA grant to fund senior rides demonstration

A $100,000 grant has been provided by the Maryland Transit Administration to fund a senior rides demonstration program through five providers.

The program aims to help develop door-to-door volunteer transportation services for low-income and moderate-income seniors who have trouble with existing services, according to state officials.

The five Maryland transportation providers selected to participate in the trial program and grant include the Baltimore County Department of Aging (County Ride), Neighbor Ride Inc., Action in Maturity Inc., Jewish Family Services Inc. and Partners in Care.

To qualify for part of the grant, the providers were required to provide door-to-door transportation for seniors; primarily rely on volunteer drivers using their own vehicles; use a dispatching system to respond quickly to seniors' requests for transportation; and define a geographic area for service, according to state officials.

"Participating providers will be able to take seniors right from their residences to medical appointments, shopping centers and even restaurants," said Maryland Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan in a statement.

The grants require a 25 percent funding match from the participating organizations. Flanagan said his department plans to provide the money to continue the grant next year.

BALTIMORE COUNTY

Schools will tutor children from low-income families

Two Baltimore County middle schools will offer tutoring to children who qualify for subsidized meals.

Lansdowne and Woodlawn middle schools are Title I schools and receive federal dollars to support programs for children from low-income families. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Title I schools that don't meet annual goals on state tests must redirect some of that money to pay for tutoring those who are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunches, an indicator of poverty.

Last year, nearly two-thirds of the children who attended each school met that criteria, according to data from the state Education Department. Tutoring will be available after school or on weekends.

Interested families can pick up applications at the schools. Applications must be returned by Nov. 18 to the Title I and Grant Assistance Office, 6901 Charles St., Towson. For more information, call 410-887-3487.

- Liz F. Kay

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