Grant helps Quest for Success program

READY FOR PROGRAM — Among those working on the Quest for Success program are, from left, front, Raymond Saccoccia, Martariesa Fiala and Jason Schwartzmiller; and back. Mark Masloski, Mike Emery and Craig McGuire. Amy Mihalyo, Fatima Smuck and Lee Gillison also are a part of the program.- Contributed

STEUBENVILLE — A five-year, $850,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education is helping to establish a new afterschool program targeting middle school students.

The Jefferson County Educational Service Center received the 21st Century Grant from ODE to form Quest for Success, which will focus on Jefferson County students in grades six through eight with programming to boost math and literacy skills and social development.

Mark Masloski, JCESC administrative assistant and Quest program manager, said the grant will provide $200,000 annually for the first three years, followed by $150,000 in year four and $100,000 the final year. Activities will be held each week at the former McKinley Elementary School, which houses Steubenville City Schools’ board office and Jefferson County Alternative School and the first program will run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.

“Evidence-based literacy and math intervention will be utilized by Franciscan University of Steubenville and Coleman Professional Services, the primary partners for this grant,” Masloski explained. “In addition, the program will offer weekend events and family activities throughout the school year.”

The university and will provide students and counselors for the events, with about 12 hours of programming are required per week as part of the grant’s stipulations. Literacy and math intervention activities will be held four days a week through May using the S.T.A.R. reading and math online programs, while social and emotional programs, family and community outreach and career and college readiness events will be in the mix.

He added that the sessions will include time for snacks, surveys and exercise followed by the online programming and Quest activities. The university’s education department will conduct literacy nights and book club on Mondays with Coleman representatives offering character counts and manners matters on Tuesdays, Reekdoe Education Services holding career and college readiness events on Wednesdays and family and community outreach offered by McGuire Associates and JCESC staff on Thursdays. JCESC officials are working with Brightway Services of Smithfield to schedule programs and Saturday events and the Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities has been contracted to provide transportation.

Quest’s support system includes Masloski, Fatima Smuck as site coordinator and Craig McGuire as grant evaluator. Masloski thanked the Jefferson County school districts for their involvement and support, Steubenville City Schools for housing the program, the JCBDD for providing transportation and the program’s primary partners. JCESC leaders said they were pleased to receive the funding and excited about bhelping students by providing additional support and intervention for their academics and social and emotional well-being, as well as an opportunity to have a positive outlet outside the school day.

The programming will fill a definite need in the school community, said Chuck Kokiko, JCESC superintendent.

“In recent years, JCESC has actively sought funding to provide after-school supports to students as this type of service has been identified as a community need,” Kokiko added. “We are very grateful to those who helped secure the grant at JCESC as well as the community groups who have stepped in to create what we believe is an outstanding after-school option for students.”

For information about events, contact Masloski at JCESC (740) 283-3347, ext. 134, or Martariesa Fiala at ext. 100, or visit the website at