dcpsohDAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. (8/15/19) — Daviess County Public Schools district has been selected as a recipient of an Owensboro Health Community Health Investments Grant. The announcement was made at 10 a.m. today, Aug. 15 at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital as part of a ceremony facilitated by Owensboro Health representatives Debbie Zuerner Johnson, director of community engagement; and Erica Wade, community outreach specialist. The award was accepted by Christina Dalton, DCPS district social worker; and Rhonda Welch, DCPS student assistance coordinator, who had submitted the grant application.
 “The Umbrella Project – Mindful Movement” title reflects the project’s spectrum of concepts that fall under a specific issue, which in this case is mental health.
The project is designed to support the DCPS district’s ongoing work in the area of trauma-informed practices. Trauma-informed practices involve understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all kinds of trauma, with an emphasis on physical, psychological and emotional safety. “Trauma” may include a child’s exposure to violence, crime, or psychological or physical abuse, as well as dealing with medical stress or grief.  These experiences have both immediate and long-term effects on a child’s academic, emotional, social and physical health and well-being, as documented by Adverse Childhood Experiences Study research ( https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy/index.html).
The Mindful Movement includes several layers of response and support, including the implementation of “Mindfulness” rooms – designated areas at pilot schools that will serve as a safe, quiet space where students can retreat when feeling overwhelmed by circumstances or emotions.
The district will also sponsor a community event for parents, educators and all those who work with children to learn about the “Love and Logic” parenting program, which provides a framework of strategies designed to nurture positive behaviors in children. The grant will also support the DCPS district’s partnership with the University of Kentucky, which will provide “Trauma-Informed Practices for Educators (Part 3),” building on our teachers’ training in areas of resilience and response strategies. The mini-learning collaborative with UK will continue throughout the 2019-20 school year.
Grant funding will also provide services of a dedicated social/emotional learning consultant, who will work with district leaders and staff members to develop learning standards across the district using the CASEL model (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning – https://casel.org/ ).
“We are so grateful to Owensboro Health for supporting the work we are doing in Daviess County Public Schools to help us positively impact the mental health needs of our students and families in the community,” Dalton said. “The positive impact we have already seen with this work is amazing. To be able to do this on a larger scale is a true blessing.”

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Information, photos provided by Lora Wimsatt

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