Students in Milwaukee Public Schools will receive greater academic, behavioral and mental health supports thanks to the district’s successful efforts to help bring in $9.1 million in competitive grants, the district announced this month.
“These grants support and complement the important work taking place in schools every day to prepare students for college and careers and to ensure a strong safety net is in place for our students,” MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver said.
The grants MPS students will benefit from include:
- A two-year, $744,000 federal grant to strengthen literacy skills for students in grades K4-3 at four high-need MPS schools (Carver Academy, Forest Home Elementary School, Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School and Rogers Street Academy) through the Focus on Literacy Foundations program; the FLF project will include improved interventions including technology support for students who are struggling with reading, more collaboration among educators and more family and community involvement in literacy, including book distributions to expand home libraries
- A four-year, $1.2-million federal grant to help 70 art educators better serve 6,300 students throughout the district by linking art education with local museums and local arts groups including Arts@Large; educators will work directly with artists to create project-based lessons for students that connect to what they see in museums
- A five-year, $3.6-million federal grant to support MPS’ “Resilient Kids” program, aimed at increasing access to school-based counseling to cope with trauma or anxiety and developing conflict resolution skills to create safer and improved school climates at eight MPS schools (Bethune Academy, Forest Home, Kagel Elementary School, Keefe Avenue School, Dr. King Jr. School, Pierce Elementary School, Sherman Multicultural Arts School and Westside Academy); Specifically, the program will develop and implement a system to identify students with externalized and internalized mental health concerns, strengthen how students understand and manage their emotions and build on-site collaborations between school-based and community-based mental health systems
- A five-year grant to the state — MPS’ share of which is $3.5 million — to support the Wisconsin AWARE Project, which aims to make schools safer, improve school climates, increase capacity to identify mental health problems and connect children and youth with needed behavioral health services
- A two-year, $100,000 grant to train more than 400 people in Milwaukee — including MPS staff – in Youth Mental Health First Aid to detect and respond to mental health issues among school-aged youth in MPS middle and high schools.