Greene County Educational Service Center has been awarded a $2.1 million four-year federal grant to participate in a state program that focuses on early childhood learning and development, mental, emotional and behavioral health, academic achievement, substance abuse prevention and violence-free schools.
The grant is part of a $8.1 million Safe Schools/Healthy Communities grant awarded to Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
“This grant was so important to really help create safe and supportive schools as well as communities in Ohio,” said Valerie Connolly, a OhioMHAS prevention and wellness specialist.
An estimated 620 children in three Ohio school systems — Greene County Educational Service Center, Williams County Educational Service Center and Harrison Hills City Schools — are expected to receive early intervention or treatment services each year. Approximately 98,000 homes with children are expected to receive the benefits of the prevention services funded by the grant.
The state agency hopes to model the prevention, intervention and treatment programs developed by the three school districts, as a result of the grant, and make them available to other school districts around the state, Connolly said.
Greene County Educational Service Center Superintendent Michael Gray did not return phone calls and an email seeking comment.
The three school districts will be working with OhioMHAS and the Ohio Department of Education on developing infrastructure and systems.
Greene County Educational Service Center provides more 85 types of services and programs which include alcohol and drug prevention, speech, physical and occupational therapy services, mental health support services, alternative school and behavior intervention for at-risk students and mental health support services. The school system serves Beavercreek City, Cedar Cliff Local, Fairborn City, Greeneview Local, Sugarcreek Local, Xenia Community and Yellow Springs Exempted Village school districts.
“We know Greene County has done some amazing work and this will really allow them to expand that within their county and I really see them being a mentor for other school districts and communities across Ohio,” Connolly said.
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