“They’ll see the same person there each day and they will begin to build a relationship with him. We want the kids to know who Johnny is and trust him,” said Healy.
The grant money will be used in conjunction with city funds to pay Lagle.
“When he isn’t at the school, Johnny will work for the city,” said Healy. “And if we need him because something has happened in town, we can pull him from there to help.”
Wellman said he is excited for the new opportunity for the school and city.
“This is really a win-win situation for the school and the community. This will not only improve safety for our teachers and students but also the community. As Johnny builds relationships with the kids, we can get a better feel for what’s going on in the schools,” said Wellman.
Currently the grant is for one year which means that if it is not renewed, Lagle’s daily presence in the schools would end next December.
“We are hoping that the program will continue and the state will see the importance of the program,” said Roach.
For now Lagle is just looking forward to getting started.
“I think it’s really important to get involved with these kids. Basically, you go from generation to generation and some of the adults I work with now, I’ve watched grow up and they had no one to go to. We have to get involved with the kids.”