Grant delivers behavioral health services to students
The Ford Family Foundation has awarded a $150,000 grant to the Douglas Education Service District and Douglas County school districts for a program that aims to help students grades K-3 whose behavior disrupts classroom learning.
The districts helped design a new Ready, Set, Learn program, which the Douglas ESD will operate. The program deploys a team of behavior specialists to work with families, students and schools.
“The Ready, Set, Learn program hopes to increase children’s resilience and coping skills to improve their ability to engage and focus on school academics,” said Alison Hinson, coordinator of behavioral programs at Douglas ESD. “Helping students build a capacity to manage stress and frustration is imperative to creating healthy kids who are able to learn in school.”
The Sutherlin School District has already noted progress with three of its students enrolled in the Ready, Set, Learn program, according to Terry Prestianni, district superintendent.
After identifying students who could benefit from the program, the district was able to draw up plans for support prior to the new school year. Now the students are on a modified schedule in their respective classrooms, acquiring the skills needed to increase their hours in class over time.
“The program has been very helpful in its initial stages, as it’s allowed us to work closely with the individual students before school even started,” Prestianni said. “The connection with families, along with the support to parents, is what is making the biggest difference for our students.”
The program funding is part of a potential three-year grant that emphasizes staff development to better meet the needs of families and students.