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Madison City Schools has received a Stronger Connection Grant for $398,000. This grant is affiliated with the federally funded Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. CONTRIBUTED

MCS to receive $398K grant for boosting all-around health

MADISON – Madison City Schools will receive $398,000 from a grant that promotes both school safety and sound mental health of the district’s student population.

The Alabama State Department of Education recently announced the recipients of funds for the Stronger Connection Grant, associated with the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. In June 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that provides $1 billion to state schools.

The funding supports local education agencies or LEAs and school districts in establishing safe, healthy and supportive learning environments. The grant program helps LEAs to bolster their support with activities that prioritize improving foundational wellness and behavior for all stakeholders in local schools.

School staffs must work so these areas of healthy practices will improve physical and mental health for students:

* Drug and balance prevention.

* Health and safety practices in school athletic programs.

* School-based health and mental health services.

* Healthy, active lifestyles that should include physical activities on campus and at home.

* Trauma-informed classroom management for the best practices in safety.

* Preventing use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, smokeless tobacco or electronic cigarettes.

* Professional development and training for school staff about improving students’ physical and mental health.

* Other training for the school’s staff members to understand activities that foster safety and health.

In addition, the grants must support the following components for “safe and supportive schools” that foster a positive atmosphere on campus, according to the state board (alsde-my.sharepoint.com):

* Preventing bullying and harassment.

* Skills to help in building relationships.

* Avoiding dropouts from school.

* Re-entry programs and transition services for youth with discipline problems.

* Establish learning environments and enhance students’ effective learning skills that are essential for school readiness and academic success.

* Awareness and prevention of sexual abuse against children.

* Suicide prevention.

* Pursuing crisis management and conflict resolution to avoid violence.

* Professional development and training for school staff to learn strategies for safe and supportive schools.

* Activities, including professional development, that foster safe, healthy, supportive and drug-free school environments.

For more information about the Alabama State Department of Education, call 334-694-4900 or visit alabamaachieves.org.

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