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Naugatuck awarded $1.4 million grant for mental health programs

Naugatuck is one of three towns in the state to receive a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration's project for Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education.

The grant will help our students learn strategies for regulating their emotions and help our district design interventions for kids who are struggling with that.

We will be using RULER, an evidence-based approach for integrating social and emotional learning into schools, developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

This year, our staff will get training on incorporating RULER into their everyday curriculum. Next year, we will start implementing it in classrooms district-wide. 

The program is designed to train our staff so that even after the grant money is finished, we will be able to continue the same services with the strategies we have learned.

When it comes to emotions, RULER stands for:

  • Recognition
  • Understanding
  • Labeling
  • Expressing
  • Regulating

According to Yale, schools that engage in RULER training and implementation experience:

  • Positive shifts in school climate
  • Enhanced academic performance
  • Better quality relationships
  • Less bullying and aggressive behavior

Purpose of the Program

  • To help us to address non-academic barriers to learning through integrated support systems
  • To develop school-based mental health programs for everyday emotional intelligence
  • To build the capacity of our school counselors, social workers and psychologists
  • To cultivate a partnership between schools, families and communities

How much is the grant worth?

  • Professional development and infrastructure provided by State partners
  • $275,000.00 each year for 5 years

What is the plan for Naugatuck?

  • We will partner with Youth Services and Naugatuck‚Äôs Partnership for Children to continue to evaluate and address the needs of families and community.
  • School counselors, social workers and psychologists will participate in professional development provided by State partners
  • We will implement a family resource model with parent liaisons in each k-6 school using the STEP program
  • We will create a welcome and resource center for families at central registration

The CT Department of Education and Department of Children and Families (DCF) applied for the grant in partnership with Naugatuck, Windham and Middletown School Districts.