Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $775,000)
The Comprehensive School-Based Approach to Youth Violence and Victimization, Category 1 provides funding to support a comprehensive effort to address youth violence and victimization through implementing evidencebased prevention, intervention and accountability efforts in a school based setting. The goals of the program are to (1) reduce the incidence of school violence through accountability efforts for offenders; (2) respond to victimization, exposure to violence, and trauma as a result of violence that occurs in the school, community, or family, (3) improve school safety and climate; and (4) prevent violence, delinquency, and victimization in the targeted community. Project sites will provide direct services to youth.
The proposed project is designed to significantly enhance Archway Charter School of Chester (CCCS) school-based mental health and peer-support services through implementation of five research-based activities that address the two objectives identified in the needs assessment: (1) mental health (MH) services to help students overcome stressors and the trauma of poverty and exposure to violence and (2) peer support activities that engage alienated youth through restorative practices. The MH activities will be implemented under the CCCS Student Support Services Department and the peer support will fall under the oversight of the School Climate Department. The planning committee selected Bounce Back and Students Exposed to Trauma as two strategies (in addition to PATHS and PATTS) that would address students needs for school-based MH services. Both strategies are research-based as promising strategies for reducing students post-traumatic stress that results from exposure to community violence. The planning committee selected Youth Courts as an alternative to the punitive zero-tolerance approach to discipline that tends to result in out-of-school suspension. CCCS will complete the deliverables by (1) working with grassroots community organizations to partner and develop strategies that will help solve school and community violence issues and (2) reducing the incidences of school violence and violent behavior. The Woodson Center will implement the Violence Free Zone program.