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Muscatine School District granted $100,000 for mental health training

The Iowa Department of Education allocates grants to 10 Iowa school districts, including the Muscatine School District.

MUSCATINE, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Education allocated grants to 10 Iowa school districts including Muscatine.

The grants are for COVID response and recovery initiatives targeting social, emotional and behavioral health. The Muscatine school district received $100,000 after requesting the grant last week. They received the good news over the weekend.

"We were fortunate enough to find a grant through Iowa grants.gov, and the Department of Ed, for mental health and social emotional learning," said Jaime Kroeger, Muscatine Schools Human Resources and Equity Director.

Muscatine Schools received the highest grant amount among the 10 Districts. All of the money will go to COVID recovery training for students and staff.

"Post pandemic has really brought to light the need for social emotional learning and skills for coping, it was present prior to the pandemic, but this just really put it to the forefront," said Paige Williams, Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health Specialist for Muscatine Schools.

Administrators say the staffs response to the grant has been successful.

"So based on the feedback that I received on Friday, it was overwhelmingly positive. Again, he's a very engaging speaker. And I think that our staff knows that this is important work, and they're excited to have access to this learning," Williams said.

For the training, the Muscatine School District is working with Kurt Slater and "Till 360", a social and emotional consulting company for the initial training. Administrators say they have enjoyed working with Slater thus far.

"Like he gave some of the best professional learning that I think a lot of us have seen. But is, is very knowledgeable on… on the social, emotional side of things, as well as what our students and staff need in order to be successful," says Williams.

The District is beginning training this week and says they are very proud to have received this opportunity.

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