Date: February 1, 2005
Contact: Michael Hopkins
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, February 1, 2005 – Governors State University’s College of Health Professions announced today that it has received a $1 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
“The grant is called SKIPP for Saving Kids Through Integrated Prevention Planning,” said Michelle Champagne, the college’s coordinator for Grants and Project Development.
Champagne said the grant will fund prevention services for high-risk middle-school students in the southland region.
“Our youth face extreme pressures in school,” Champagne said. She added that the middle-school children are particularly vulnerable to influences that are ultimately destructive.
Drugs, sex, gang involvement, violent behavior and all of the attendant risks, including HIV infection, are prevalent in middle-schools attended by underserved populations within the southland region.
“This destructiveness doesn’t just tear children and families apart,” Champagne said. “It increases risks to entire communities and the region at large.”
The grant monies will be administered by Champagne and the college over a four year period. The projects it funds will be comprehensive, starting with programs that deal with fundamental emotional issues and build self-esteem in children before they become vulnerable.
Projects will also teach parents and children to communicate effectively within family groups, to set goals, and encourage children to achieve academically.
“Long term, we want to see these kids in college instead of on the streets,” Champagne said.
The SKIPP grant is part of an overarching strategy the college has for supporting prevention programs within the region.