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$2 million federal grant to boost mental-health resources in Appalachian Ohio school districts

Columbus Dispatch |

Funds from the $2 million grant will help employ more mental health specialists like Snyder in rural school districts across seven Appalachian Ohio counties. Over the next five years, 110 mental-health specialists will be embedded into school districts across seven Appalachian Ohio counties, thanks to a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Ohio Department of Education applied for the highly competitive grant — only five states received one — and decided to focus on eastern and southeastern school districts after watching COVID-19 exacerbate children’s behavioral issues in the Appalachian region.

“We recognized there was a particular need in Appalachia,” Ohio schools superintendent Paola DeMaria said. “If a child is not in an emotional/social position to benefit from academic learning, then there’s a problem.”