Appeal-Democrat Archive Writing

Wheatland schools receive $730,000

August 9, 2007

Wheatland Elementary School District received two grants totaling more than $700,000 to help students’ safety and mental health.

A five-year, $500,000 grant was awarded to Lone Tree School under the state’s School Community Violence Prevention Program.

The funds will go to provide an intervention counselor who will serve as a modified probation officer for students to talk to and to deal with cases on campus, Cory O’Neal, grant services director, said Thursday.

The program mirrors one at Bear River Middle School, but is adjusted to meet the needs of the kindergarten through fifth-graders of Lone Tree School.

A new program will also be started called Beale Buddies to help new parents and families.

Since the school is on Beale Air Force Base, some of the newer families to the area have to deal with becoming single-parent families when someone is deployed.

Beale Buddies will connect families who have lived in the area longer with the newer families to help them get acquainted.

Wheatland Elementary School also applied, but didn’t score high enough in the criteria for the grant.

“There are lots of single parents, and this gives them a chance to network,” O’Neal said.

The district also received a 16-month, $230,506 mental health grant from the United States Department of Education. This will help the schools work closer with Sutter-Yuba Mental Health Services to help students and teachers more in the district, O’Neal said.

With no public transportation and about 15 miles to the nearest mental health center, the district was able to demonstrate the need necessary for the grant.

The funds will also cover training for teachers to identify students who may have undiagnosed mental disorders and how to deal with them.

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