SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today 136 grant awards totaling $86.4 million to support the mental health of students and educators. These Community Partnership Grants will support collaboration between school districts and community organizations to address the trauma students and educators have experienced during the pandemic.
The partnership model promotes alignment between the services students receive in and out of school. The model also supports sustainability beyond the initial funding by deepening connections between schools and communities. Grants are awarded for two years with funding from the second and third rounds of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief.
“In our work to restore and renew our children’s learning from these past two years, we have an obligation to prioritize the progress that can’t be captured in a test score: social-emotional growth, behavioral needs, and mental wellness,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’m proud to dedicate more than $86 million to a collaborative, statewide approach to tackling these pandemic pains. And by working alongside more than 130 local partners, we can best support communities as they work to heal and grow from within.”
“In order to prepare for learning, students need a positive, safe, and affirming educational environment," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “The Community Partnership Grant expands programs to provide students and educators with a continuum of supports to meet their social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs and heal from the disruption and stress of the ongoing pandemic. These supports are foundational for academic growth and pandemic recovery."
Symptoms of anxiety and depression have doubled among young people worldwide during the pandemic, with 20 percent having anxiety symptoms and 25 percent experiencing depression symptoms, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. The Community Partnership Grant will help schools provide the mental health services and support that are essential for students to succeed academically.
Eldorado CUSD 4 was awarded the FY2022 Community Partnership Grant. This is a $250,000 multi year grant which will be used to serve students and families in grades Pre-K through 12 by expanding after school, weekend, and summer services that target at-risk students and families. In partnership with the Eldorado Stress & Trauma Treatment Center, this expansion will allow services to at-risk students that are currently ineligible or underserved by other school and state programs. Eldorado Superintendent Ryan Hobbs hopes the grant will help Eldorado School District offer services to students and families in the community who need them most. “This grant will help our district offer more services to our families. One of the goals of our district is to help our student’s families in more ways each year. This grant will help us accomplish this goal”