The number of Ohio schools seeking a grant to help pay for transportation costs for students to visit the Ohio Judicial Center exceeded expectations.
More than 250 schools applied for one of the 100 grants. The transportation grants were worth up to $400 per school depending on distance traveled.
Visitor Education Center Coordinator Julie Manning said there was a tremendous response showing a real need for the grants and widespread interest in visiting the home of the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Manning said the 100 schools selected have around a 70 percent poverty rate in their communities.
"We're serving the audience that we intended to serve with this program. We feel that we exceeded our expectations in terms of outreach into those communities and doing something to help them with their students understanding of state government," Manning said.
Manning said schools self-reported their need based on free or reduced lunch programs for its students. Manning then had to verify all of the data with the Ohio Department of Education and rank the schools.
She said the number of applicants shows how schools value field trips to the Ohio Judicial Center as the grant only off-sets part of the cost of a field trip to Columbus.
Manning said she appreciated the Ohio Judicial Center Foundation for donating $30,000 for the transportation grants and said she hopes members are able to contribute again next year.
"We'd like to do it again next year. We think the response this year shows there's a need and we'd very much like to work with the foundation in the future to do it again," Manning said. "We feel really good about the schools we are going to be helping."
Manning said the first grant recipient school is tentatively scheduled to visit the Ohio Judicial Center on Nov. 4.