BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Investing in Baltimore’s children. Our city has been awarded a multi-million dollar federal grant to help reduce the impact of trauma for students and give them the tools to succeed. Tracey Leong explains how this is aiming to build a brighter future for everyone.
This grant will fund mental health and youth development programs in the schools with students most affected by last April’s unrest.
Baltimore leaders launch a life changing program at Matthew A. Henson Elementary School in Sandtown-Winchester, where Freddie Gray once attended.
“It is our duty as our adults to lift our children up and we are going to do everything in our power to do that,” said Elijiah Cummings, state U.S. Representative.
More than $2.3 million dollars will help students recover from the significant trauma they suffered as a result of last April’s unrest following the death of Freddie Gray, who sustained fatal injuries while in police custody.
Health leaders are still working to heal our city, starting with our children.
“Our city should not be branded as one of violence and unrest, but will be known as the national model of recovery and resilience,” said Baltimore Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen.
Thirteen schools will benefit from the grant.
“The earlier you can identify and treat the more likely the young person is able to move on and live a very fulfilling and very rich life,” said Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Santelises.
They will be offering counseling, guidance, youth engagement and other mental health services.
“Mental health is crucial in our neighborhood, kids are not only impacted by the uprisings a year ago but a day to day basis they is a trmendous amount of drugs and violence in our neighborhoods,” said principal David Guzman, Matthew A. Henson Elementary School.
The program promises to invest and transform Baltimore for the next generation of leaders. It is being led by the Baltimore City Health Department and falls under the city’s vision to reduce health disparities by half over the next decade.
The grant totals $5 million dollars spread out over a five year period.