LIBERTY COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — Liberty County School System is one out of five school districts in the nation to receive a grant for $3.8 million, which allows for special counseling to students.
The school system was awarded the Trauma Informed Support Services Project Wellness and Wellbeing Grant.
This allows the school system to prioritize student’s mental health. The superintendent tells News 3 this is just another step to making sure students are able to do the best they can in the classroom.
Phase one of this new concept includes assessing all students, pre-k through 12th grade, to see where they need help.
“We were not fully aware of it…,” Superintendent Franklin D. Perry Sr. said. “We have students that are acting out and doing other things. If we can figure out what the reason is and give them the services, then we think that it’s going to help our teachers and relieve stress from our teachers. It’s just going to make everything better.”
This is a 4-year plan that is looking to benefit roughly 10,000 students in the district. The military coordinator for the district tells me this award allows almost $1 million dollars per year.
“If we break it down into thirds, you’re going to have a third of it be for staff trainings,” Melaniann Pass said. “The other third will be for hiring personnel and we have 3.5 positions available to help implement this grant. And, the other portion will be subcontractor services. we are going to hire people to come in and actually bring those services into our school system for our students.”
With Liberty County being a military community, she goes on to say this played a role in why they were awarded this grant.
“Because we are a highly populated veteran community, that was a big factor,” Pass added. “Fort Stewart was a big concern and factor in this.”
The grant goes live September 30 and Superintendent Perry says he has a good feeling about this.
“And I think our students will say it’s okay,” Superintendent Perry said. “I just need to talk to somebody. I just need to lay it on the table and I don’t need to hide it. Our whole culture in the district I think is going to change because of this grant.”
They tell News 3 they are still in the planning phase. Once those screenings are done, they will have a better idea of which route to take when helping students.