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The Crowe Memorial Fund at HCCF Awards Grant for Safety Training for Avon School Bus Drivers

The Hendricks County Community Foundation awarded the Avon Education Foundation a $1,353 grant partly through the James P. Crowe Memorial Fund. The grant will assist the Avon Community School Corporation's Transportation department, providing the initial cost of materials and training of Basic Life Safety Instructors.

The Avon Education Foundation exists to support creativity, innovation and excellence within Avon Schools. All twelve schools within the Avon Community School Corporation benefit from AEF program funding and have collectively received nearly $130,000 during the 2017-18 school year towards programs and initiatives that are not publicly funded. While a general operating budget referendum was recently passed to increase funds for student instruction, many supplemental areas of Avon Schools are still facing tight budget constraints.

According to Mike Rawlinson, ACSC Facilities Director, "The ACSC Transportation Department has a goal for 100% of school bus drivers to be trained in Basic Life Safety in the event of an emergency situation. This is currently not a requirement of the state and carries a significant cost to train bus drivers corporation-wide. Additionally, training must be completed every two years in order to maintain certification. Without state requirements, this initiative is often reduced in priority, especially with restrictive budgets."

This year, a select group of six ACSC Transportation employees will have the opportunity to be certified as Basic Life Safety Instructors, allowing the corporation to save costs by training all drivers in-house. Ongoing fundraising efforts will be focused toward the purchase of additional equipment needed for training, specifically CPR dummies in a variety of sizes that are reflected among Avon Students. Lynda Settimi of ACSC Transportation said, "Approximately 150 bus drivers, aides and transportation staff are expected to be trained and equipped to respond to emergency situations as a result of this project."

This grant was made possible in part through the James P. Crowe Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation. "Mr. Crowe is remembered by many for living a life of service to his country, community and Avon Schools," says William Rhodehamel, HCCF President & CEO. "Through this fund and grants like this one to AEF, his legacy will continue to impact the community by providing for the safety of Avon students this year, and for many years to come."