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Schools Get $1.3 Million Grant To Help Students Traumatized By Violence

By Kelly Bauer | September 16, 2016 1:44pm | Updated on September 20, 2016 11:51am
 Police investigate the scene where a 15-year-old boy was shot dead on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014.
Police investigate the scene where a 15-year-old boy was shot dead on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014.
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DNAinfo/Devlin Brown

CHICAGO — A nearly $1.3 million grant will help 10 Chicago Public Schools provide specialized care for students impacted by violence and trauma.

The U.S. Department of Education has provided Chicago with a $1.275 million grant that will help the Board of Education implement the Healing Trauma Together program, according to a Department of Education news release.

Healing Trauma Together will help students at 10 high schools in Austin, Englewood, Roseland and Garfield Park recover from "traumatic exposure to violence and civil unrest," according to the Department of Education, and will help improve students' mental health. The schools are in communities that have been hit hard by violence and unrest, according to the department.

The program will help about 900 students develop the skills they need to regulate emotions and heal from trauma, and up to 300 parents and 320 school staff will learn how to recognize and respond to trauma symptoms. About 5,000 students are expected to benefit indirectly from the program.

"As an educator and former principal, I have seen the dramatic impact that effective social and emotional supports can have on the trajectory of students' lives," said Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson in a statement.

The grant will help educate school personnel so they can adopt "trauma-informed practices," improve the climate of their schools, intervene with students who are experiencing chronic stress or complex trauma and help parents understand the impact of their children being exposed to trauma, according to the Department of Education.

"Violence tears at the fabric of a school community, and the long-term effects can be devastating," said Secretary of Education John King Jr. "The Department of Education is committed to addressing the mental health and social support needs of students who are impacted, directly or indirectly, by traumatic events in their communities."

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