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The Iredell-Statesville Schools system has earned millions in grant funding over the next five years.

Superintendent Brady Johnson has announced that the Iredell-Statesville Schools recently received three grants through the U.S. Department of Education, totaling approximately $13 million over the next five years, to help students who have experienced violence or emotional trauma in their lives.

I-SS Executive Director of Student Services Kelly Marcy realizes the impact that $13 million in federal grant money will have on the students in the Iredell-Statesville Schools.

“This is such an exciting opportunity for our school district. At a time when mental health resources are scarce, we are the proud recipient of not one, but three federal grants that will make our schools safer, both physically and emotionally, for our children,” she said in a news release.

After grant-writing for the Iredell-Statesville Schools, 21 schools will have access to mental health resources that were otherwise not available.

In addition to expanded school-based therapy programs and crisis response services through the Children’s Hope Alliance, the grant funds will help secure additional positions, including behavior specialists and behavior technicians.

The district had an initiative this school year to encourage students to #TalkitOut when it comes to depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.

Executive Director Betsy Rhodes of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Preventions said she was confident that the additional funding is an overall boost for mental health in Iredell County.

“I am deeply impressed with the commitment of the Iredell-Statesville School district,” Rhodes said.

“You have a school system here that truly cares about its students and wants to protect them from harm.

“I believe they are saving lives today because of their commitment to embrace mental health wellness and suicide prevention education.”

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