SCS receives $189,000 counseling grant

Kate Wehlann, Staff Writer

Salem Community Schools will receive $189,000 over the next five years to supplement the district’s counseling programs.

The Lilly Endowment offered schools grants for planning counseling programs and separate ones for implementation of those plans. Salem School received the planning grant and applied for the implementation grant, but didn’t receive it. Then the Lilly Endowment opened the implementation grant again and Salem reapplied.

“Second time was the charm,” said Salem High School Counselor Jennifer Martin.

Martin said the school plans to use the grant money to increase programing with LifeSpring and improve social and emotional learning at the school.

“So many students have so much going on in their lives and it’s hard to focus on schoolwork when that’s going on,” she said. “More kids are having trouble with anxiety than I’ve ever seen, and that’s across the country, not just here.”

Martin said the school will use some of the money to supplement a position at the middle school guidance and graduation coach.

“Middle school is a time students tend to go one way or another,” said Martin. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to guide them to make good choices.”

The grant will also help cover the cost of training for teachers and counselors in mental health.

“We’re very grateful for this opportunity to help our kids and for Lilly’s focus on counseling and giving us this chance to help our counseling programs,” said Martin. She said she was also grateful for the community partnerships the school has with organizations like the YMCA, LifeSpring, St. Vincent-Salem Hospital and ROI (Regional Opportunity Initiatives), who wrote letters of support for the school.


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