Madison School District office

The Madison School District #321 office, pictured on Monday, Sept. 20. The district’s Madison Cares department is receiving an $80K grant for behavioral health support among children and families in the district.

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Madison School District #321 is receiving funding to help children in the district with behavioral health support and children whose education was disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The district and its Madison Cares Program are receiving $80,000 from the Idaho Community Program Grant. The organizations that received funds were announced in a health and welfare Wednesday news release. The funds are a part of the American Rescue Plan Act for Child Care Development Fund, the release said. The grant is specifically targeted to address the academic learning loss and behavioral health supports for children. Rick Croft, Madison Cares director, said the additional funding will help Madison Cares with its mission of empowering families through education, advocacy and community connections. Madison Cares is the school district’s mental health department and has developed a community system of care to help families. Croft said Madison Cares has used the grant to implement a Hope Squad at Madison Junior High School.

is a school-based peer-to-peer suicide prevention program that has been implemented in more than 1,000 schools in 34 states and Canada. The funding will also support a mental health first aid course for principals and teachers, Croft said. Additionally, the district will hire a staff member to regularly visit students if they need mental health assistance. Other additions the district is implementing include social skills groups in its elementary schools and junior high school. District staff will also be trained with parenting education methods. More than $17 million in total was awarded to 61 facilities across the state, represented by 35 organizations, the release said. “Investing in the organizations and programs that assist in educational services and much needed behavioral health supports to children and youth will have lasting effects,” said Ericka Rupp, Idaho’s Child Care Program manager, in the release. Grantees will be awarded on a quarterly basis. The next grant period will open for applications in early winter.

Madison School District #321 is receiving funding to help children in the district with behavioral health support and children whose education was disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district and its Madison Cares Program are receiving $80,000 from the Idaho Community Program Grant. The organizations that received funds were announced in a health and welfare Wednesday news release.

The funds are a part of the American Rescue Plan Act for Child Care Development Fund, the release said. The grant is specifically targeted to address the academic learning loss and behavioral health supports for children.

Rick Croft, Madison Cares director, said the additional funding will help Madison Cares with its mission of empowering families through education, advocacy and community connections. Madison Cares is the school district’s mental health department and has developed a community system of care to help families.

Croft said Madison Cares has used the grant to implement a Hope Squad at Madison Junior High School. Hope Squad is a school-based peer-to-peer suicide prevention program that has been implemented in more than 1,000 schools in 34 states and Canada.

The funding will also support a mental health first aid course for principals and teachers, Croft said. Additionally, the district will hire a staff member to regularly visit students if they need mental health assistance.

Other additions the district is implementing include social skills groups in its elementary schools and junior high school. District staff will also be trained with parenting education methods.

More than $17 million in total was awarded to 61 facilities across the state, represented by 35 organizations, the release said.

“Investing in the organizations and programs that assist in educational services and much needed behavioral health supports to children and youth will have lasting effects,” said Ericka Rupp, Idaho’s Child Care Program manager, in the release.

Grantees will be awarded on a quarterly basis. The next grant period will open for applications in early winter.