WISH-TV 8 Visits Bell

01 Dec, 2018

Jayne Burke

MSD of Martinsville – Tuesday, November 27th, was an exciting day for Bell Intermediate Academy! Home Bank presented a $15,000 challenge gift to Youth First, Inc., and the MSD of Martinsville with WISH-TV 8 and our Morgan County Reporter in the audience.

The generous funds from Home Bank will assist Youth First grow its program at Bell Intermediate Academy which currently includes a full-time social worker to assist to the emotional and social needs of 5th and 6th graders. A match donation of $15,000 must be applied to the gift in order for the funds to be used.

“Youth First partners with school districts to embed social workers in schools, where they become specialized mentors for students and prevention coaches for parents and teachers. Youth First social workers build caring relationships, foster readiness for positive change, and boost resiliency along with other valuable life skills. Research shows these are the keys to preventing addiction, suicide, violence, and similar outcomes for young people,” – Jana Pritchett, communications manager, Youth First, Inc.

WISH-TV 8 then explored Bell upclose to interview Principal Jeremy Odgen and Youth First social worker Niki Walls. At this time, a date for the story to air has not been confirmed.

In August 2018, Youth First and Dr. Moore were able to fund a social worker at Bell Intermediate Academy through a grant from the Lilly Endowment’s Comprehensive Counseling Initiative and the Governor’s Director of Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement. The MSD of Martinsville was the first school distict in Morgan County to incorporate Youth First into a school.

“The MSD of Martinsville is committed to the health and well-being of our students. With our Youth First partnership at Bell, we now have three full-time social workers in the elementary and intermediate levels,”-Dr. Michele Moore, superintendent, MSD of Martinsville.

To donate towards the matching gift, please email [email protected]

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