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Community REACH Inc., a nonprofit agency serving residents within the Dallastown, Eastern York and Red Lion school districts, will receive a $250,000 grant from the state Department of Education.

State Rep. Stan Saylor helped secure the grant, which is included in the education department's budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, Saylor said in a news release.

The grant will be used to expand the organization's education and skills programs.

"When people acquire skills, it helps them get out of poverty, and I think that’s important," Saylor said.

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The Rev. David Tietje, president of the Community REACH board of directors, said the agency hopes to provide training for proper food service preparation, and the purpose of that training would be twofold: to provide job skills for clients who are interested in working in the restaurant and food service industry and to train local volunteers to prepare and serve free community meals for the needy.

"We have partnered with some churches that are already providing free community meals, but again, we are hoping to really expand that," Tietje said.

Also on the agency's radar is a potential partnership with the York County Literacy Council to provide on-site literacy classes. Tietje said the agency is exploring the possibility of working with other agencies to offer courses in English as a second language, computers and technology, and nutrition education.

Additionally, Community REACH may soon offer training in managing personal and family finances, dressing for success, writing resumes, preparing for job interviews and parenting.

Some of the grant funding will be used to hire a program manager to oversee the new program offerings, as well as to hire qualified teachers for the courses.

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