posted Oct 3, 2014, 8:50 AM by BGPS Web
updated Oct 3, 2014, 11:50 AM
Battle Ground Public Schools Awarded $2.5 Million in Services From Federal Grant Project AWARE
October 3, 2014
Battle Ground Public Schools is a major beneficiary of Washington's new $10 million Project AWARE grant to support student mental health and wellness over five years. The Office of Superintendent and Public Instruction (OSPI) was awarded the grant by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Battle Ground Public Schools in one of only three districts across the state to receive funding and support. Project AWARE supports the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan of activities, services, and strategies that promote the healthy development of children and youth. The Project AWARE grant will provide the district with increased access to school and community-based mental health services through improved coordination of state and local policies and resources.
“Battle Ground is a caring community,” said Mark Hottowe, the Battle Ground Public Schools superintendent. “This funding will fuel our district’s and community’s efforts and bring all the right elements together to truly impact student health.”
Hottowe knows the positive impact that this type of structure and funding can bring to a community. While working in the Kelso School District, Hottowe was instrumental in the coordination and implementation of a similar grant called Safe Schools/Healthy Students. “We saw a dramatic reduction in risky behaviors and an increase of students accessing mental health services over a five-year period.” Hottowe said. “I am confident that this funding, in connection with all the great things we are already doing in our district and community, will provide similar results.”
Project AWARE brings together students, parents, educators, mental health providers, local law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies, and other community-based organizations such as the Battle Ground Mentor Collaborative, Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance, and Youth Suicide Prevention Program to talk about mental health promotion, school climate and violence prevention. These groups will work in collaboration to create a safe school environment that provides mental health services to students in need, addresses violence prevention, and establishes safe school policies.
“This grant will help the district by providing additional staff, increased training for staff and community members, and increased mental health services to students in our schools,” said Denny Waters, executive director of special education for BGPS.
The district will work closely with OSPI and Educational Service District 112 over the next several months to create a detailed implementation timeline that will best serve the students, staff, and community.
About Project Aware
The overall goals of Project AWARE are to increase access to school and community-based mental health services; improve overall school climate; build the capacity and leadership to sustain community-based mental health promotion, illness prevention, early identification, and treatment services and initiatives; increase awareness of mental health issues and promote positive mental health among youth and families; and increase mental health literacy of school personnel and other adults who come into contact with youth.