Local organizations earn $1.6 million to help Mississinewa students

Family Service Society, Inc. (FSSI) in partnership with Project Leadership (PL) and Mississinewa Community Schools (MCS) has been awarded funding in the amount of $1,636,163.00 from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to support recovery learning and remediation services for students enrolled in grades K-12.

As founding members of the Grant County Comprehensive Counseling Coalition, FSSI, MCS, and PL have a collaborative history serving the 63.8% of Mississinewa students who are economically disadvantaged. Lisa Dominisse, President/CEO of FSSI, shared that FSSI has been working alongside Grant County schools since 2015, building foundations for social and emotional learning and mental wellness. Receiving these grant funds will allow for additional resources and tools to further build and sustain the network necessary to support youth in our communities.

The funding will be utilized over a 2-year period of time to all Mississinewa Community School students from grades K-12. Mississinewa will be able to introduce new academic interventions to grades K-5 to compensate for COVID learning loss and increase the number of grades 6-12 students receiving academic interventions for English/Language Arts and Math. Mississinewa will provide transportation and family engagement programming for students in these programs to reduce participation barriers. Project Leadership will expand its college and career programming to include a new Connect mentoring program for high school students that will help ready them for post-secondary pathways.

Project Leadership Director Tammy Pearson said the new initiative is designed around evidence-based models. “Students who receive targeted support during high school are more likely to follow and succeed in their post-secondary pathways,” Pearson said. “This partnership is a positive example of three community partners collaborating to better serve students across three areas of comprehensive counseling — academics, social & emotional learning, and college & career services.”

Family Service Society, Inc. will expand professional development around Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) allowing more teachers to use programming on a regular basis, and students will have access to individual and group therapy to support wellness in all areas.

“Mississinewa Community Schools is excited to work with community partners in programming that support students, families, and staff in the areas of social and emotional learning, college and career readiness, and overall learning opportunities for all students. Working with community partners strengthens our resources and broadens our reach to more students. We believe all these opportunities for our students, families, and staff will promote a growth mindset and cultivate a school community where all stakeholders grow.” said Lezlie Winter, Superintendent of Mississinewa Community Schools Corporation.

Winter continued. “All stakeholders have encountered multiple challenges during this past year and a half where it has required us to discover new and innovative ways to gather and provide information. Our partnership with Family Service Society, Inc. and Project Leadership has become an invaluable pathway to many of these resources. Together we have become better!”

This grant funding is part of the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program, House Enrolled Act 1008, and the IDOE awarded over $122 million across the state of Indiana. For more information, visit www.doe.in.gov . For more information about the services provided by Family Service Society, Inc. and the mission we serve, please visit www.famservices.com .