December 13. 2012 10:06PM

Manchester receives grant for services in three city schools

MANCHESTER - The city has received a grant of $165,841 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop community services around three public schools.

The funds for the Roadmaps to Health grant are being matched by the Endowment for Health, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Granite United Way and the Cogswell Benevolent Trust, bringing the total to $362,682.

Tim Soucy, Manchester director of public health, said the three schools will be chosen as leaders from the city, business and health care communities and residents evaluate where and what the greatest needs are. He hopes to have the programs up and running within two years.

"The 'community school' is a concept using existing school buildings, but expanding the services provided so it reaches into the neighborhood beyond just the kids it serves," Soucy said Thursday. "There's a whole host of opportunities but it's really based on the needs of the neighborhood."

Possible services could include job development skills, access to social services and linkage to health care, Soucy said.

Manchester was one of 18 cities selected for the Johnson Foundation grant from an application pool of more than 400, he said.