The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is awarding the Nampa School District a three-year grant up to $150,000 so the district can continue to focus on improving youth behavioral health, an emerging community health concern in Idaho and across the nation.
“Youth behavioral health has been an emerging focus in the district, and we appreciate our partnership with the Blue Cross Foundation in both preparing us for this opportunity and going forward. This grant will strengthen our ability to expand our mental health response in our schools, allowing us to provide better outcomes for our students,” said Dr. Paula Kellerer, Nampa School District superintendent.
The first year of grant funding will be initially used in three schools, which were identified by district personnel after a series of meetings where the district looked to identify opportunities. Initial grant funding will support school culture and will help launch several programs and projects, including a new mindfulness program in each school, and provide professional development for district and school personnel. Schools and classrooms that use mindfulness often show improved academic performance and decreased behavioral disruptions.
“The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is focused on addressing trauma and the wellbeing of Idaho children, and this grant will help the Nampa School District better serve its students,” said Kendra Witt-Doyle, Executive Director, of the Foundation. “We appreciate the forward-thinking, proactive approach the district is taking to address one of Idaho’s most pressing health issues.”
The three schools the district selected for the first year of grant funding are:
- Central Elementary School
- Sherman Elementary School
- West Middle School
The second- and third-year funding of the grant will be determined at a later date.
“This grant is the result of a lot of time and effort put forth by our community partners, who are ready and willing to address the stigma surrounding behavioral health and its impact on students,” said Nampa School Board Trustee Heather Lewis. “I look forward to seeing the outcome of new programs that will be implemented and continuing the conversation regarding the impact of behavioral health on our schools and the Nampa community as a whole. It’s a vital conversation.”