As students return to schools this fall, Boeing has announced they’ll be providing $105,000 to 21 school districts across Washington and Oregon to support a variety of programs, including student mental health curricula and training and information sessions for family and faculty. These funds, according to the company, also aim to help certain students meet basic needs in addition to prioritizing services for students and families impacted by racial inequities.
Below are a handful of examples of how this funding has already been used.
Seattle Public Schools
In the Seattle Public School district, Boeing contributed directly to the Alliance for Education’s Right Now Needs Fund. The Fund, which focuses on removing barriers to learning, has already announced they’ll be focusing on addressing the physical, mental and emotional well-being of students as they return to classes this fall.
Petaki Cobell, Right Now Needs Fund Director, noted that “Boeing’s investment in the Right Now Needs Fund will support students in Seattle Schools to arrive to school ready to learn. As students return to school in the midst of racial tension and COVID uncertainty, this Fund responds to urgent needs of local students and families, removing barriers to learning and education achievement.”
Tacoma Public Schools
A peer-led support program is underway in the Tacoma area aimed at equipping high school students with the tools to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health or substance use issues in their friends and peers. The pilot program is expected to start this upcoming school year with 20-50 students in the Tacoma area.
Rick Remmert, Boeing Production Engineering Manager and board member at the Foundation for Tacoma Students, stated “This generous gift by Boeing ignites a pilot program for the 2021/2022 school year for Tacoma High School students to connect in the mental health ecosystem on solutions impacting all our Tacoma Students. I applaud our community partners – Boeing, the Foundation for Tacoma Students, and the Mayor’s Youth Commission of Tacoma – to lead in this important space of positive mental health outcomes for all of our Tacoma Students now and in the future.”
Lake Washington School District
In the Lake Washington School District, Youth Mental Health First Aid training sessions are being given to school staff members to better equip them to handle students experiencing mental health crises. Additionally, Care Teams will provide resources for teachers in schools to better help students experiencing crises or poverty.
Bethel School District Foundation
Having served historically underserved communities for years through the Bethel Outreach Buses (BOB), the Bethel School District Foundation will be introducing Inspire BOB as this year’s newest iteration of the program. This incarnation of the BOB program will focus on mental health and the emotional wellness of students, with middle and high school peer mentors supporting BOB’s community visits.
These mentors will also deliver curricula under supervision designed to help students learn and practice life and wellness skills.