Washington, D.C. – Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) today highlighted a federal grant award to Otsego Northern Catskills Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) through the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program. This $499,926 federal investment will help increase Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities and increase opioid misuse education and prevention through the purchase and installation of interactive distance learning equipment.
“This USDA Rural Development grant program helps organizations find new ways to utilize technology to connect with students in their communities and enhance learning opportunities,” said Congressman Faso. “The work Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES is doing to expand STEM education programs for their students while also focusing on opioid prevention is truly commendable as it addresses critical needs in Upstate – ensuring individuals have the skills and training they need for today’s jobs and combatting the opioid epidemic.”
"On behalf of the students, families and schools that we serve, the Otsego Northern Catskills (ONC) BOCES is appreciative to be selected as a recipient for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant. The additional funds will allow ONC BOCES to expand science, technology, engineering and mathematics educational opportunities for the rural students we serve. Moreover, these funds will also provide a means to increase prevention education of opioid misuse," said Otsego Northern Catskills (ONC) BOCES District Superintendent Nicholas Savin.
Background from USDA:
This Rural Development investment will assist Otsego Northern Catskills Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) increase Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities and increase opioid misuse education and prevention through the purchase and installation of interactive distance learning equipment. This project implements and expands STEM courses and opioid education and prevention at ten (10) educational facilities located in six (6) counties in the northern Catskill Mountains in New York state. The project provides new videoconference endpoints allowing students access to 55 shared courses, within the school district, and over 402 courses statewide. Additional equipment will be placed in school health offices and school-based health centers, increasing access to healthcare providers providing substance misuse education and counseling. This project will bring advanced education opportunities and expanded healthcare access to 23,261 students and residents.