United Way of the Midlands receives nearly $158,000 from Richland County Government to fund Resiliency Team pilot program at Jackson Creek Elementary School

Columbia, S.C. (August 15, 2019) – United Way of the Midlands received nearly $158,000 from Richland County Government to fund the launch of a pilot program placing a Resiliency Team, part of United Way of Midlands Resilient Richland initiative, at Richland School District Two’s Jackson Creek Elementary School.

“We’re excited to partner with Richland School District Two to launch our first Resiliency Team at Jackson Creek. We’ll be working with a great school led by Dr. Mosso-Taylor and nonprofit partner Richland County Public Education Partners, known as RCPEP,” said Sara Fawcett, President and CEO of United Way of the Midlands. “We are incredibly grateful for Richland County Government’s support and belief in the power of building resiliency. This grant allows us to build on our existing partnership with the District that currently includes access to children’s dental care through WellPartners Dental Clinic and emergency financial assistance for struggling families. We’re also excited to add Jackson Creek to the list of schools participating in our Midlands Reading Consortium volunteer tutoring program to help striving readers improve literacy skills.”

Resilient Richland aims to reduce the stigma of trauma and equip individuals and organizations with information and skills to build resilience among children and youth who experience traumatic incidents, referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), during childhood and teen years. These include physical, verbal, sexual abuse, and physical or emotional neglect.

Based on research provided by Children’s Trust of South Carolina, 67 percent of people living in Richland County – approximately 212,000 adults – have experienced at least one ACE and 14 percent have experienced four or more. People who experience four or more ACEs are vulnerable to poor health outcomes as adults including heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and suicide.

The Resiliency Team includes a behavior interventionist and a social worker. The interventionist will be based at the school and be available to provide immediate support to children exhibiting disruptive behavior and ideally prevent disciplinary responses that can re-traumatize the child while at school. A social worker will be based in the community to provide case management and connect families to resources in the community based on specific needs.

“We are excited about the Resiliency Team pilot at Jackson Creek Elementary as well as our partnership with United Way of the Midlands and the Richland County Government. Addressing the whole child is the responsibility of the entire community in which that child lives and learns,” said Dr. Baron Davis, Richland School District Two Superintendent. “Our teachers are equipped and are ready to provide the academic as well as the social-emotional support that our students will need to pursue their pathway to purpose. This partnership will provide support inside and outside of the classroom, support that will allow our students to increase their levels of resiliency in school and beyond.”

The funding received will provide a resiliency team at Jackson Creek for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. An event will be held August 20, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at Jackson Creek Elementary School located at 7150 Trenholm Rd Ext., Columbia, SC 29223 to introduce the new team members to the community. News media and local community members are encouraged to attend.

In addition to the support from Richland County Government, Resilient Richland has also received support from Children’s Trust of South Carolina, Nord Family Foundation and Sisters of Charity Foundation. To learn more about Resilient Richland, visit resilientrichland.org.

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About United Way of the Midlands
United Way of the Midlands is the most collaborative, efficient and accountable model for investing in the improvement of the Midlands community. With 65 Community Impact Partners, United Way works to identify and respond to the critical human service needs of Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties. Funds are raised through workplace campaigns, grant writing and individual donations and are directed to fight for causes including childhood literacy, economic mobility and dental and eye care for those without resources. For more information, please visit www.uway.org.

About RCPEP
Richland County Public Education Partners was founded in 2018 to ensure that Richland County becomes an educational leader in the state. RCPEP will provides a consistent presence that supports and strengthens public education in Richland County schools. RCPEP works closely with the schools and key community stakeholders to identify, support and develop innovative initiatives to assist teachers, students, and families.