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Davis AWARE Night Under the Friday Night Lights at Wolf Field

PROJECT AWARE: Davis Elementary School third grade teachers (from left:) Charl Lampkin, Jessica Williams and Kimberly Linville received training from Oklahoma State University with the PAX Good Behavior Game. This game helps students become more aware of behavioral and education expectations and rewards are given when goals are met. To learn more about Project AWARE visit their booth at Friday night’s football game.

By Lance Whaley, Project AWARE Coordinator
Last January, Davis Public Schools started a grant program called AWARE. It is a mental health initiative designed to help our school district and community as a whole better prepare to recognize mental health needs. Here is an update of what the AWARE program has been doing so far.
During the summer, our administration and counselors began training in multiple mental health courses. All of our counselors took courses that certified them in Youth Mental Health First Aid. Last week, the first ten teachers from our district became certified. The goal for the grant is to have 90% of all district staff that have interaction with students to be trained in YMHFA.
In early August, our administration began training with our state appointed leadership from the SWIFT Center of Kansas University. This focused on how to begin implementing mental health strategies into our overall school plan. On Nov. 2-3, SWIFT will be back to train our administration and site teams even more.
Davis Elementary has also began training third grade teachers and the elementary counselor with the Center for Family Resilience from Oklahoma State University, PAX Good Behavior Game.
Davis Elementary counselor, Tami Edmoundon said, “The PAX GBG is a useful tool for social-emotional learning and for self-regulation and awareness. Students are aware of behavioral and educational expectations and are able to work towards them in a positive environment. When goals are met, they are rewarded with ‘Granny’s Wacky Prizes,’ which can be anything from making paper airplanes to having a classroom dance party. I love this aspect of the program because students are rewarded for their positive behaviors and their teachers can join in on the fun!”
Davis Junior High and High School counselors have also been training on how to create SPARCS groups on their sites as well. Catey Moring, the Davis High School counselor shared, “SPARCS groups aim to help youth who experience difficulties and challenges through group activities, lessons and discussions. We hope for students to gain more tools to cope with current and future stressors.”
The grant has allowed Davis Public Schools to put social emotional calming resources in their classrooms. School officials are excited to bring to the attention of the community the new 988 Mental Health Helpline. It is the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations phone line that an individual can call or text 988 to get intouch with a mental health professional anytime night or day.
Finally, on Oct. 21, Davis Public Schools AWARE will have a booth at the high school football game as we welcome Atoka to town. Atoka is also an AWARE grant recipient. Make sure to buy a program when you get to the game Friday night for a chance to win a Davis AWARE cap. We look forward to many more great things to come.

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