FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 21, 2003
For further information please contact:
Colleen MacRae, Coordinator, Polk County Collaborative
(218) 281-3940 Fax: (218) 281-6261 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
$997,729.00 SAFE SCHOOLS/HEALTHY STUDENTS INITIATIVE GRANT AWARDED TO PARTNERS IN THE NORTHWESTERN MINNESOTA COUNCIL OF COLLABORATIVES
Crookston, Minnesota. On Wednesday, July 16th Minnesota legislators were notified of a $997,729.00 grant awarded to the Stephen-Argyle School District as the fiscal host on behalf of 25 partners in the Northwestern Minnesota Council of Collaboratives. Northwestern Minnesota was awarded the grant to provide services in eleven northwestern school districts in Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Polk and Red Lake counties. Partners from public health, social services, law enforcement, corrections and mental health will join each communitys school district in focusing on a comprehensive, integrated approach to the early identification, early intervention and prevention of school violence, alcohol and drug abuse, and related mental health problems. The grant award is for August 1, 2003 through July 30, 2004 and may be awarded for two additional years. It is a program that follows a similar initiative of seven other Northwestern Minnesota school districts who were involved between 1999 and 2003 that resulted in new and additional strategies in the current grant program.
The Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative includes strategies for school and community-based activities that span a continuum of services for families and at-risk youth. A public health nursing program will reach out to at-risk mothers and teen parents to improve positive parenting skills. Childrens mental health practitioners will oversee expanded in-school, after-school and summer skills-building/therapeutic groups and provide mental health crisis consultations as well as hold school and community presentations for parents and community members to address a range of childrens mental health problems. Teachers will be trained on how to identify and refer those seriously at-risk or severely emotionally disturbed children. Other training will include Prep for Change, a cognitive skills-based outpatient chemical dependency treatment program for adolescents. Training will also be provided on resiliency techniques and how to involve students in activities that utilize restorative justice practices and character education. A transition school probation specialist will be available for in-home and on-site supervision of high-risk male and female adolescents. Local law enforcement agencies will also work closely with the schools to develop individual school crisis response plans.
Services will be provided in the following counties by school district:
· Kittson (Tri-County and Kittson Central)
· Marshall (Greenbush/Middle River, and Stephen-Argyle)
· Norman (Norman County East and Norman County West)
· Polk (Climax-Shelly and Fisher)
· Red Lake (Oklee, Plummer and Red Lake Falls)