During an all-staff meeting in November, Becky Powers, school counselor commented that counseling needs are currently exceeding resources with new referrals coming in every week. She named the Dixie Fire and aftermath as one of the contributing factors.
Plumas Charter School received a $115,314 grant from Project SERV to increase mental-health services for all students, families and staff across its three locations in Chester, Taylorsville and Quincy.
“Our students and families need more support than ever, and it is our job to figure out how to give it to them,” said Taletha Washburn, PCS Executive Director. Because of the shortage of mental health personnel, the charter school had to piece services together across the county rather than hire one full-time counselor. Two part-time counselors have been hired to increase services in all communities served by PCS, and the school is also partnering with True North Psychology out of Quincy to get all of the needs met.
Washburn learned about the Project SERV grant through meetings with the California Department of Education Disaster Support Team. SERV stands for Project School Emergency Response to Violence and is awarded through the US Department of Education. The program funds short-term and long-term education-related services for local educational agencies to help them recover from a violent or traumatic event in which the learning environment has been disrupted. To learn more about the program and funding, visit their website here.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa announced the award on his Facebook page Tuesday, Jan. 4 with the following comments:
“Unfortunately, the people of Northern California have experienced an unprecedented amount of traumatic emergency situations, such as wildfires. In the aftermath of these events we discuss big picture policies of fire prevention and forest management and rebuilding our towns and infrastructure. The wellbeing of our residents and town’s children should be made as much of a priority. I am happy to announce that Plumas Charter School in Quincy has received a $115,314 grant to be used for a full-time counselor, increasing the level of mental health services provided to all 326 K-12 students, their families, and staff. After a devastating and traumatic wildfire many residents, especially children, experience feelings of anxiety, depression, and fearfulness that severely impacts their learning ability and education.” Advertisement
Rachel Goings is the public relations specialist for Plumas Charter School