Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
Archway Charter School of Chester, doing business as Chester Community Charter School (CCCS), is a public charter school/independent school district in the City of Chester, PA.
Purpose: To expand and enhance peer-support and school-based MH services by implementing five research/evidence-based activities that address two objectives: (1) To provide peer support activities that engage alienated youth through restorative practices. (2) To provide school-based MH services to help students overcome stressors & the trauma of poverty and exposure to violence.
Primary Activities: Three peer-support programs: Violence Free Zone, Youth Court, and Mock Trial. Two school-based mental health small group interventions: Bounce Back and Support for Students Exposed to Trauma.
Expected Outcomes: Reduced suspensions, truancy, and violent behaviors; and improved school attendance and student engagement.
Service Area: The City of Chester, PA, has a poverty rate nearly three times the national rate. The applicant school ranks among the poorest 5% of LEAs in PA. In 2020, the FBI reported that Chester’s violent crime rate was 3.6 times that of the USA; its murder rate was 8.2 times that of the USA (fbi.gov)!
Intended Beneficiaries: 4,361 K-8 students, 100% low-income, 99% minority group members.
Consultants: Alliance of Concerned Men; Gregg Volz, Esq.; The Edward Rendell Center for Civic Engagement; Looking Glass Consulting; Gifted Solutions; and Elevation Solutions Project Management Information System
Priority 1(A): By providing mental health (MH) services in school, the project will promote racial equity and the removal of barriers to access and opportunity and contribute to greater access to services for historically underserved communities and marginalized and adversely affected by inequality. In the past, when CCCS staff referred families to community agencies for MH services, the families rarely took advantage of the opportunity for various reasons, including transportation, personal resources (e.g., time off from work), forgetting, and stigma.