Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $278,802)
Paris Union School District No.95 (PU95) is requesting $278,802 in BJA STOP School Violence funds to implement a Category 2 Project. PU95 is a Tier 1, mixed rural-urban K-12 public school district located in Paris, Illinois (Edgar County), that educates an underserved population (47.3% free and reduced lunch participation, 2019-2020 School Report Card). The proposed project will serve 310 students at Mayo Middle School (grades 6-8), a high risk population for experiencing suicide and suicidal ideations (Health Reports, 2017).
According to the 2018 Youth Risk Behavior survey (8th grade students), 66% are diagnosed with a mental illness, 70% experience bullying, 48% experience cyberbullying, and 6% report feeling unsafe at school. PU95 students have also experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (e.g., 33% of students suffer emotional, physical or sexual abuse) at rates greater than national averages, which is a precursor to adult criminal behavior and violent crime (National Institute of Justice).
The proposed program will promote school safety through two evidence-based training programs- the Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training, and Sandy Hook Promise “Say Something” program for students and staff. Activities will include a YMHFA train-the-trainer program for Mayo staff, that will better allow staff to intervene in mental health crises, prevent bullying-related trauma, and provide support to at-risk Middle School students. An after-school Sandy Hook Promise program will also be implemented for 8th grade students, building the skills they need to keep themselves and their peers safe. Funds will also be used to pay a School Safety Program Coordinator who will deliver and track the effectiveness of the program.
Program deliverables include:
Three high-level staff administrators at Mayo middle school will receive advanced Mental Health First Aid Train-the-Trainer instruction, an average of 40 hours of training per person.
The 3 staff who received Mental Health First Aid training will coach, model, and train all 60 other Mayo Middle School staff about mental health and substance abuse by 2024.
At least 50% of 8th grade students at Mayo Middle School (50 out of 100 students) will participate in at least four Sandy Hook Promise Trainings annually. After the three-year grant period, the training is expected to reach all 100 students.
All activities are aligned with the BJA STOP School Violence program objectives under Category 2. PU95 will commit staff time and financial resources to the success of the program during the 36-month period and beyond.