The coronavirus pandemic brought to light the struggles many students and teachers face every day.
Traverse City Area Public Schools can now take more steps to help students and staff in their district thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Rotary Charities of Traverse City.
The money will be used to improve the health and wellness of students and staff. The school district is partnering with Good Works Lab to lead the initiative.
TCAPS, along with Good Works Lab, will increase physical activity and nutrients before, during, and after school. They will also bring counseling into every school.
One specific area they hope to improve is social workers in school.
“The social workers are overwhelmed with a myriad of tasks from helping with clothes to helping with food to finding transportation,” said Founder of Good Works Lab, Ty Schmidt. “Meanwhile, they can be helping with counseling in the school and helping with risk assessment.”
The grant comes when schools have been put under a microscope.
“These teachers and kids have been extraordinarily affected by this pandemic. It’s always been a problem, but it’s reached the crisis level right now,” said Schmidt. “Wellness has now come to a first-order, and I’m ready and can’t wait to help make a difference.”
The $150,000 grant will be spread out over the next three years, hoping to make students and teachers’ experience in and out of the classroom better than before.
“We want these kids to be in school, to feel like they belong, to feel like they are a part of something. Feel like they matter, and then they learn,” said Schmidt. “That’s why the kids are in school so that academic success is one outcome we look to move the needle on.”
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