Galloway, Warren announce $404,613 in grants for keeping Bucks County safe

HARRISBURG, June 8 – Pennsbury School District is receiving $150,000 to provide tiered mental health and behavioral support to its students, staff and families, and Bucks County NOVA will receive $254,613 to teach second graders about appropriate relationships, state Reps. John Galloway and Perry Warren announced today.

The state grants, which were announced by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, will improve mental health outcomes for children and adults affected by violence in Bucks County, the lawmakers said.

“We all know that the pandemic took a toll on our students as the enforced isolation impacted many kids’ mental health negatively, with an increase in depression and other mental health issues reported,” Galloway said. “Thanks to this state grant funding, the Pennsbury School District will be able to advance their mental health services and outreach for students, helping them to develop resiliency and recover from the impact of COVID.”

“Congratulations to the recipients for their hard-earned awards,” Warren said. “This specialized work performed through NOVA and at Pennsbury School District reflects on the dedication that our community has for its children – and adults – affected by violence and crime. This is certainly funding that you wish you didn’t have to create, but it is the most critical work that it supports.”

The PCCD, in collaboration with the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State University, announced the Endowment Act funding to support a new pilot prevention research program. Over the last four years, PCCD and CMSN implemented a three-pronged pilot prevention program that served over 16,000 second graders and 14,000 parents. Due to the success of that project, and the need to implement a more universal parent education component, PCCD and CMSN will implement a two-year pilot that will include two programs to be implemented within different segments of the community.

They include:

  • Safe Touches. This is a 50-minute puppet-based workshop that will be implemented among second grade students. The evidence-based curriculum teaches children about healthy boundaries, that it is okay to say “no,” and how to get help from safe adults.
  • Smart Parents. This is an adaptation of the evidence-informed Smart Parents program that will be implemented among parents of children under 18. The program teaches parents about healthy sexual development, communicating with children about sexual boundaries, ensuring safety, and obtaining help and resources.

Meanwhile, to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, PCCD announced the availability of funding for approaches to help support the mental health needs of students and their families. Preliminary 2021 Pennsylvania Youth Survey data indicated that Pennsylvania youth reported an increase in mental health concerns such as depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation, as well as difficulty in dealing with remote learning and the corresponding isolation. The maximum award allowed was $150,000 to support up to two-year project periods.