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Toledo Public Schools to test students for lead poisoning

The Rotary Club of Toledo granted TPS $10,000 to fund the test in all pre-schoolers and some kindergartners.

Toledo Public Schools just received a $10,000 grant to test students for lead poisoning. 

The Toledo Public Schools executive director said this grant isn't just an investment in the district; it's an investment in the kids and their future.

According to the district, it will allow them to test approximately 1,000 students, all the pre-schoolers and some kindergartners.

"Of the 650 children that we tested last year, 11% of them had elevated lead levels in their blood. Two actually had more than 10 micrograms in their blood, which is extremely high," TPS Transformational Leader Dr. Amy Allen said.

Those numbers help guide TPS to discuss one of the health risks kids face in Toledo. According to doctors, kids under the age of four are at risk for lead poisoning the most. 

Monday's $10,000 donation came from The Rotary Club of Toledo to help with testing and identify areas where lead exposure is more prevalent. 

"It's a new transformational project that we identified this past spring. We have several areas different areas of focus and they are all part of lead abatement, but this is the first piece of what we've done under this project" said Toledo Rotary's immediate past President, Dick Wolff.

Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Romules Durant said lead poisoning is preventable and by receiving this funding, they can help address the risks head-on.

"We're able to be more preventive than intervention and all the demanding physical as well as psychological needs that happen when a child has a high level of lead poisoning in their system," Durant said.  

Allen said that although testing for lead levels and getting the information back is important, what they do once they get the information is more important.

"What we do and will do is use a portion of the money for educational materials for teachers and families and helping everyone to know some strategies to lessen the effects of the lead," Allen said. 

According to Allen, one of the strategies when lessening lead poisoning is teaching families how important nutrition is for children.

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