Wynne School District receives mental health grant for tornado recovery

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 8:47 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2023 at 10:48 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Wynne School District received a grant to help with mental health in the aftermath of the March 31 tornado.

The district received a $320,305 Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence) Grant.

Special Services Director Glenda Vance says its purpose is to help students and teachers with mental health resources after disaster strikes.

“The teachers are passing these things day by day and seeing the destruction that’s still there,” she said. “Teachers, they still have a lot of healing to do.”

The district will use the grant to hire a project manager and a case worker who will work with students, their families, teachers, and faculty in the recovery effort. They will provide them with mental health resources.

“We knew we needed to get some things in place to help our community, to help our students, to help our families, to help our faculty,” she said.

The school received several mental health resources in the immediate aftermath of the tornado. As relief workers started to leave, Vance said they spoke to others about what needed to be done in the long run.

The district will also partner with mental health agencies to provide mental health services.

Some teachers lost their classrooms and the memories in them. Others, like Angela Baxter, had their home damaged by the tornado. Six months later, the pain lingers.

“It’s sad, you know how it was at one time, and it’s not there anymore,” she said. “It’s just, you know, homes and people who are not around anymore. They’ve moved on.”

But many stayed.

Baxter said many teachers and children have storm anxiety, and some are still dealing with the loss of their homes.

“That was kinda hard also on the teachers having to make sure that the kids have a stable home environment,” she said.

Baxter said she’s grateful for the help that’s coming because many are still on the road to recovery.

“Depends on how much you experienced and what you’re still having to go through,” she said. “It might help to have someone to talk to.”