The Mt. Vernon Education Foundation (MVEF) has received a $12,000 Central Indiana COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund (C-CERF) grant which will benefit Mt. Vernon students. This grant is made possible by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. and awarded by the United Way of Central Indiana. The Lilly Endowment donated a total of $1,712,500 to help meet needs affected by the pandemic in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks and Morgan counties.
The funds given to MVEF will be used to sustain operations and/or provide services that support individuals and families who are affected directly and indirectly by the economic impacts related to the COVID-19 crisis; meaning the money will be able to best help the community, including internet connectivity and meeting students’ social-emotional needs. Individuals and families at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level will be prioritized.
Renee Oldham, Executive Director for the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation, states in her application for the grant, “Mt. Vernon is prioritizing a trauma-informed initiative to address childhood adversity and its effect on students’ academic, social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. Roughly two-thirds of our Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation students prior to COVID-19 would have experienced at least one significant trauma before graduating high school. We are anticipating and preparing for elevated issues of trauma experiences due to the pandemic, and the impact it has had and will have on our students, families, and community in the foreseeable future.”
TBRI stands for Trust-Based Relational Intervention. This therapeutic model focuses on using the principles of empowerment, connection, and correction to soothe trauma that children may have. Once educators meet the basic needs of their students, including adequate food and water during school, the groundwork for a more personal relationship is present. An example of items that have been purchased with this funding include weighted blankets for students who have this need. Overall, students will become more engaged, regulated, and aware while also maintaining a boundary-controlled, trust-based relationship with their teacher and peers. Mt. Vernon’s TBRI initiative is bringing out the best in both students and staff.
Mt. Vernon is confident that the community will continue working together to overcome the obstacles placed by the current pandemic. Although the pandemic presents unusual challenges, teachers’ and students’ resilience is shining through. With hard work and a focus placed on TBRI, students will be provided nurture and structure to ease any trauma they may have. MVCSC would like to thank Mt. Vernon Education Foundation and Mrs. Renee Oldham for her initiative in applying for this grant that will benefit Mt. Vernon students.