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March 30, 1995

WPIC gets $80,000 grant to expand after-school program

Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic's (WPIC) John Merck Multiple Disabilities Program has received an $80,000 grant from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Pittsburgh to improve and further develop the Merck After School Program (MAP) at Wightman School Community Center in Squirrel Hill.

The program, which provides specialized treatment to children who have both developmental disabilities and psychiatric or behavioral problems, will use the grant to expand the scope and number of MAP services. The addition of a second classroom, development and expansion of support groups for family members, and expansion of in-school assessments and follow-up services are among the initiatives the grant will fund.

"The ultimate goal of our program is to integrate the children we serve back into their homes and schools," said Martin J. Lubetsky, director of WPIC's John Merck Multiple Disabilities Program. "This grant will help the program continue to realize that goal by expanding and enhancing services that address the special needs of these children in a more natural home or school environment. Part of that integration process involves increasing their interaction with children their own age who do not have disabilities." Under the grant, MAP students will be enrolled in other programs offered by the community center, and MAP staff will recruit peer mentors from Squirrel Hill schools and the Mitzvah Corps of the Jewish Community Center to work as academic, social skills and recreational skills tutors.

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