St. Lucie Public Schools Awarded the STOP School Violence Grant for $496,311
ST. LUCIE COUNTY, FL – St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) was just awarded the STOP School Violence grant in the full amount requested, $496,311. This coveted Grant Award, follows other recently obtained, large dollar federal grants. This time, the grant award will fund the Helping Every Adolescent Recover from Trauma Project (The H.E.A.R.T. Project). This project is a unique approach to providing a trauma-responsive environment in two alternative education settings serving students who have experienced trauma as a result of either witnessing or being a victim of violence, requiring an alternative school setting.
The program will be fully funded through a grant from the United States Department of Justice in the amount of $496,311 over a three-year period. The H.E.A.R.T. Project will provide intensive support to students through six cognitive behavioral techniques to regulate emotions, react to trauma in a healthy manner, and learn social problem-solving skills to prevent future acts of violence against themselves and others.
Separately, students identified as having witnessed or been a victim of sexual violence will have an opportunity to engage in an intensive 16-week therapeutic program to help them move beyond the specific effects of sexual trauma. Additionally, parents will receive training to ensure they are able to support their children outside of the school environment.
The district expects the project to decrease the rate of student violence both in the school environment and in the surrounding community since students with the highest needs, and who are at the greatest risk for being a victim or perpetrator of violence, will receive the support they need and deserve.
Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Helen Wild noted, “We are so pleased to receive this recognition and funding for the HEART Project to provide these much needed services to our students and families in crisis. It is a true collaboration between District Departments and an endorsement of their quality work on behalf of the community.”