Mental Health Promotion Grant
UNITE! Washougal Community Coalition and Washougal School District are pleased to announce the selection of Second Step as their curriculum selection for the Mental Health Promotion Grant from the Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery.
Washougal School District partnered last November with UNITE! and was awarded a $20,000 grant to bring Mental Health Promotion curriculum to the classroom. These partners began the curriculum selection process began by forming a committee of parents, teachers, counseling staff and community members. This committee included Counselor Jerolyn Friesen, staff and, community members Tiffany Gilbreath, Cindi Freeman, Nicol Yung, Laura Allworth, Heather Jordan, Brandey Young, Courtney Wilkinson, Heather Marshall, Diane Shaver and administrators Allan Fleck and David Tudor, who all gave generously of their time to make this selection possible.
This curriculum was chosen from a preselected list of evidenced based curriculums that have mental health promotion outcomes as well as substance abuse prevention results. This committee developed their own evaluation tools which included factors such as whole school inclusion, healthy skill development, effective communication, empathy development and relationship building. After reviewing curriculum and meeting several times to discuss the needs of our community, the committee has selected Second Step to implement in the Preschool to Grade 5.
As part of this voluntary participation in adoption of this curriculum, each grade level, pre-school and elementary school will receive at least one curriculum kit as well as training in the curriculum. Some of this training will be available on-line and staff who choose to participate in the roll out will be compensated for their training time.
We are excited to provide this opportunity for positive mental health promotion and substance abuse prevention outcomes in our community.
Teaching American History
Washougal School District is one of just two districts in the state to receive a Teaching American History Grant from the Department of Education. The $996,999 grant will enhance teachers’ understanding of American history through intensive professional development, including study trips to historic sites and mentoring with professional historians and other experts.
The grant’s focus is on civil rights and while guaranteed for three years, may be extended to five, pending funding.
Though Washougal is the grant administrator, two other school districts—Evergreen and Ridgefield—are co-recipients and teachers from each of the three districts will benefit from the grant. Sixty teachers (20 per year of the grant) will participate in the grant. Washougal just wrapped up a three-year history grant and the new grant will keep the ball rolling and build upon the progress that has been made over the past three years.
“We feel incredibly lucky,” said grant coordinator Carol Boyden. “With the emphasis on state scoring, history has been shoved to the back. Thanks to this grant, we’re able to focus on teaching strategies to incorporate history into other subjects, such as reading and math.” A requirement of the grant is that districts must partner with organizations that have broad knowledge of American history, such as libraries, museums, nonprofit historical or humanities organizations, and higher education institutions. History is one of the core academic subjects under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Through the grant, teachers learn directly from authors, historians and experts who not only share their knowledge during workshops, but also make themselves available as an ongoing resource throughout the year. Teachers share lessons and techniques among themselves, so they come away from each training session armed with several different lesson plans. Grant participants will also complete a weeklong summer study program. A major grant partner is Washington State University, where Laurie Mercier assisted with writing the grant and helps coordinate incoming professors and historians. “This is the best professional development I’ve ever seen for teachers,” said Boyden. “It sets up relationships between universities, school districts and experts to create a community around teaching history.”
Administrator: Carol Boyden