U.S. Department of Education Awards more than $32.8 Million to Promote Safe Schools, Healthy Students

WASHINGTON, D.C. (RPRN) 7/15/2009–More than $32.8 million in grants have been awarded to 18 states and the District of Columbia as part of a joint effort by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice to support schools in creating safer and healthier learning environments.

The highly competitive Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative attracted 422 grant applications nationally. Under the initiative, school districts, in partnership with local public mental-health agencies, law-enforcement and juvenile justice entities, must implement a comprehensive, community-wide plan that focuses on the following elements:

  • Safe school environments and violence prevention activities
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention activities
  • Student behavioral, social and emotional supports
  • Mental-health services
  • Early childhood social and emotional learning programs.

“Every child in America deserves a safe and healthy school environment, and it’s our job as educators, parents and community members to ensure that happens,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “The Safe Schools/Healthy Students grants will provide students with access to services and programs that promote healthy development, personally and academically.”

“The prevention of youth violence and substance abuse is a principal objective of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative and is crucial to our efforts to reduce juvenile delinquency,” said Laurie Robinson, acting assistant attorney general, Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice. “The initiative is well equipped to advance the prevention of delinquency, and the grants announced today represent a significant step forward towards that end.”

“In community after community, this initiative has been the catalyst for bringing schools and youth-serving organizations together to build and expand evidence-based programs to prevent violence, promote mental health and boost young people’s academic achievement.”said Eric Broderick, acting administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which manages the program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.“The dividends for children, families and communities at large have been unprecedented: lower rates of school violence, more mental-health services for more children, better attendance and improved academic performance.”

The Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative draws on the best practices of education, juvenile justice, law enforcement and mental-health systems to provide integrated resources for prevention and early intervention services for children and youth.

Since 1999, the Education, Justice and Health and Human Services departments have administered the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative, which has provided more than $2.1 billion to local educational, mental health, law enforcement and juvenile justice partnerships.

A complete list of grantees and their abstracts can be found at www.ed.gov/programs/dvpsafeschools/awards.html or see below. For more information on the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative, visit www.ed.gov/programs/dvpsafeschools/index.html or www.sshs.samhsa.gov.

2009 Safe Schools/Healthy Students grantees are listed below:

Corning Union High School District
Corning, CA

El Rancho Unified School District
Pico Rivera, CA

Escondido Union School District
Escondido, CA

Nevada County Superintendent of Schools
Nevada City, CA

Willits Unified School District
Willitis, CA

Yolo County Office of Education
Woodland, CA

District of Columbia
Washington Latin Public Charter School
Washington, DC

Madison County School District
Madison, FL

Rockdale County Public Schools
Conyers, GA

Perry Central Community School Corporation
Leopold, IN

Alton Community Unit School District #11
Alton, IL

Wabash Community Unit School District #348
Mt. Carmel, IL

Marshalltown Community School District
Marshalltown, IA

Ashland Independent School District
Ashland, KY

Recovery School District – LDE
New Orleans, LA

Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District
Wilbraham, MA

Vicksburg Warren School District
Vicksburg, MS

Helena School District One
Helena, MT

New Jersey
Trenton Public Schools
Trenton, NJ

New York
Broome-Delaware-Tioga Board of Cooperative Services (BOCES)
Binghamton, NY

Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Board of Cooperative Services (BOCES)
New Hartford, NY

Sodus Central School District
Sodus, NY

Union Springs Central School District
Union Springs, NY

North Carolina
Burke County Public Schools
Morganton, NC

Wood County Educational Services Center
Bowling Green, OH

South Carolina
Kershaw County School District
Camden, SC

Saluda County School District
Saluda, SC

Mission Consolidated Independent School District
Mission, TX

Albemarle County Public Schools
Charlottesville, VA


Contact: Jo Ann Webb,
(202) 401-1576

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