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'Lordstown STRONG' campaign gives students, staff hope for future

Posted at 4:56 PM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 18:43:16-04

LORDSTOWN — In the midst of a time where folks are on the fence about whether to stay and fight or pack up and go, the Lordstown School District launched the "Lordstown STRONG" campaign. The purpose is to show support and give hope to those impacted by the General Motors plant who worried about the future of the district.

The message is loud and clear from staff.

“We just want to give our students and families in the community a peace of mind and confidence to let them know that the school is not going anywhere," said intervention specialist Alyssa Brookbank.

She said it's a hard time for little ones, confused and wondering why they are separated from their loved ones.

“There has been a lot of fear that the school will close," Brookbank said. "We want to families in the community to know that we are not going anywhere. We are staying here, and we are staying strong for our students.“

Up to 60 students may not walk the halls come fall, making the hallways a little more somber for the time being.

“This is where their home is. This is where their families are. Their friends. Being that young and having to leave all of that for a child that young to understand it’s difficult," she said.

In addition to the elimination of classroom fees, elimination of pay to participate and the establishment of a clothing and food pantry for the community, the district wanted students and staff to know the schools aren't going anywhere.

Superintendent Terry Armstrong said Lordstown STRONG (Service, Tenacity, Respect, Optimism, Never Giving Up, Giving) are characteristics of the students and the community.

"Lordstown Schools continues to support the efforts of the Drive It Home Campaign as they work to lobby General Motors to keep vehicle production in the Mahoning Valley," Armstrong said.

School board President Bill Catlin said the district is already making nearly $200,000 in cost reductions, which will include job reassignments and attrition, preparing for a drop in student enrollment, but not a drop off the map.

“We are not going anywhere. We are staying strong, and we are here for our students and families," Catlin said.

The district is making a few changes for the 2019 - 2020 school year, including the addition of college prep courses and an after school care for preschoolers.

RELATED: General Motors has received inquiries from 'interested parties' regarding Lordstown plant