Wilson Prep receives student mental health grant

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Wilson Preparatory Academy may soon be hiring a pair of mental health-focused professionals to serve its students’ needs.

The charter school received notification that it is the recipient of a $100,000 School Mental Health Personnel grant from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

The funds will allow Wilson Prep to hire two staff members. The positions could be filled by resource officers, nurses, counselors, psychologists or school social workers.

The North Carolina General Assembly earmarked $10 million for school mental health support personnel grants during the 2018-19 fiscal year.

According to a release from Daryl M. Woodard, executive director and founder of Wilson Prep, the school will be hiring two full-time personnel “to assist our scholars and ensure that they are safe during school hours.”

In a competitive grant process, the school had to submit an application by July 31. Grant recipients were selected on Aug. 10.

“We knew this grant would be competitive,” Woodard said. “So we were very pleased to find out we will be able to enhance what we already do for our scholars concerning mental health.

“WPA recognizes that how important good mental health is for our scholars,” Woodard said. “We are still getting information from the state on how the grant will be implemented.”

The School Mental Health Personnel program is part of the N.C. School Safety Grants program aimed to improve safety in public schools by funding school safety officers, services for students in crisis, training to bolster school safety and purchase safety equipment and funds so schools can provide added mental health support personnel.