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The Enrichment Center offers counseling at Liberty

(CONTRIBUTED)
(CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Liberty Middle School students can receive free counseling from The Enrichment Center.

The center’s Enrich & Impact program for prevention and intervention is designed to meet children’s and adolescents’ needs at school, program coordinator Heather Lawson said.

The center developed the program based on a needs assessment from the Children’s Policy Council, which includes educators, attorneys and healthcare professionals. In 2007, the center introduced the program at Patriot Academy and eventually at Discovery and Liberty middle and Madison and Ridgecrest elementary schools.

“Karen Clayton at Liberty is a wonderful counselor. I’m so thankful to work alongside her,” Lawson said. Clayton is responsible for 700-plus Liberty students.

As Enrich & Impact counselor, Lawson assists Clayton with more options for students’ ever-increasing needs. “Middle school can be a very challenging time for many students and having … an additional trained counselor to help is so needed,” Lawson said.

Lawson can meet with students weekly and provide immediate resources to students and their families.

Student families don’t pay for Enrich & Impact. Sharon Willis, at-risk coordinator for Madison City Schools, “has been instrumental in helping us secure funding” with federal grants available to schools, Lawson said.

“However, funding and resources are often limited. This program also relies on community support, grant funding and matched funds donated and invested by The Enrichment Center Foundation,” Lawson said.

In elementary school, counselors see many children with behavioral and emotional needs. In secondary school, youth also deal with depression, anxiety, effective study skills and individual or family issues, she said.

“All of our counselors have received master’s level training in a counseling field,” Lawson said. The counselors maintain confidentiality for students.

“Currently, Enrich & Impact is the only like it in North Alabama. Our goal is to bring this proven program to all of North Alabama, one school at a time,” Lawson said.

For more information, call Lawson at 256-341-0811, email to HeatherLawson@teceagle.com or visit teceagle.com, Facebook or Twitter.

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