The Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) and Kankakee School District No.111 (District 111) are pleased to announce receipt of the United States Department of Justice 3-year STOP School Violence Mental Health Training Grant to provide violence- and suicide- prevention programming in schools throughout Kankakee County.
As a joint-initiative between the SAO and District 111, funding for this program will support the improvement of school security by providing students and teachers with the tools they need to recognize and respond quickly to violent attacks, mitigate risk exposure, and prevent acts of violence. The funds will further support the development of threat assessment and crisis intervention teams, and anonymous reporting systems (mobile apps, hotlines and websites) designed to identify threats before they materialize, including those that originate from individuals with mental health issues; and for the training of students, school personnel and local law enforcement officers necessary to partner together in preventing violent events from happening. The grant award is approximately $245,000. In year 1 of the grant, the programming will be implemented at all District 111 schools; in years 2 and 3, this Program will expand to all schools throughout Kankakee County.
“Children have a right to learn, play and grow in a safe community, and their schools should be the safest place of all. This partnership between the State’s Attorney’s Office and District 111 will ensure that every school in Kankakee County has programming in place to proactively prevent and respond to violence, appropriately identify and address mental health crises, and ensure that all staff are trained in the most upto-date best practices for keeping students safe both in- and out- of school. We are proud to be a partner in this initiative alongside our educators”, said State’s Attorney Jim Rowe.
District 111 Superintendent Genevra Walters said “Kankakee School District 111 is committed taking every opportunity to secure resources that will enhance community supports for our youth. I am grateful to Jim Rowe for his commitment to supporting the youth in our community and allowing us to write and secure this grant. KSD 111 is committed to creating a safe environment in which our students attend school and live. As a county, we are all affected by the struggles that our young people have around mental health. We need to work together to increase community awareness, student interventions and resilience among our youth and families.