Mental health grants awarded to Valley school districts

dfwnewsa | February 19, 2024 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News

Mental health grants awarded to Valley school districts
The Region One Education Service Center announced two new grants for Region One school districts with the Department of Counseling and Mental Health helping to support the districts with resources and training. (Courtesy photo)
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The Region One Education Service Center announced two new grants for Region One school districts with the Department of Counseling and Mental Health helping to support the districts with resources and training.

Funded by the Department of Education, the two grants are Project LIFT and Stronger Connections, with each serving different schools and purposes.

Region One Director of Guidance, Counseling and Mental Health Yovann Salinas said the department was established in April 2023 and she is extremely excited for the two grants since the area of mental health is getting attention in school districts in the region.

“We hear it across the entire region, we hear districts wanting these types of supports, not just for their students, but for their staff and for the families as well,” Salinas said. ”Because the students receive certain education and support at the school but it’s also important that that type of support carries over into the home.”

Project LIFT will support student academic outcomes at five Region One school districts. The $3.9 million award will support Monte Alto ISD, San Isidro ISD, Webb CISD and Zapata County ISD.

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Salinas said it is a research based grant and is specifically geared toward small and rural school districts.

The grant will develop, implement and test integrated evidence based strategies, including social-emotional learning and provide mental health interventions at the listed school districts throughout a five-year period.

“We’re going to work closely with the administration to really target those at-risk students that are needing a little more guidance and support,” she said.

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Stronger Connections, a Texas Education Agency initiative, is focused on the non-academic needs of students by providing a safe and supportive learning environment to improve their academic success and well-being.

Twelve school districts received the grant which include Weslaco ISD, Mission CISD, Point Isabel ISD, Lasara ISD, Mercedes ISD, Rio Hondo ISD, San Benito CISD, Santa Rosa ISD, Triumph Laredo, Triumph RGV, Valley View ISD and Vanguard Academy.

Staff from the school districts will get coaching and on-the-job professional development for the implementation of student support programs while also establishing sustainable practice to extend this initiative throughout their schools.

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“This grant helps with increasing school climate and decreasing incidents of bullying and substance abuse and stuff like that,” Salinas said.

She added each school district received anywhere around $ 1 million to $1.5 million for the Stronger Connections grant.

The post Mental health grants awarded to Valley school districts appeared first on MyRGV.com.

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