The effort of Brookfield Local School District to establish a community learning center has moved to a new level with the district joining with four other districts from around the state, under the auspices of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, to file a pre-application application to the U.S. Department of Education.

“It’s just intent to apply,” Gibson told the school board July 7. “You have to ask permission to file for the grant.”

Brookfield Federation of Teachers President Mary Arp got Gibson in touch with OFT representatives, he said.

“I think everybody’s looking for the same thing,” he said of the participating schools. “They’re looking for student wellness, help as far as counseling, maybe some physical, primary health supports, those types of things. Right now, it’s all kind of generalities. You have to apply to apply. Once they give you the nod, we’ll sit down with all the players, start looking at details and how we want to provide those services.”

The U.S. Department of Education offers a five-year grant, he said.

“It’s exciting,” Gibson said. “A lot of the things we are doing are under that compass of providing supports for our students and their families. This is a huge step moving forward, applying for this.”

Gibson did not know what kind of dollar amount he might seek through the grant, but said he would want to add onto the school building or build a new building on the campus.

“This building, there isn’t room, so it’s hard to entice somebody to come over and open an office when you’re in a closet,” he said.

Once that building is built, the district could approach agencies that offer the services he is looking to acquire for students, he said. He already has had discussions with public and private agencies, such as Quick Med, which operates urgent care centers.