- Associated Press - Thursday, May 17, 2018

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Idaho has selected 17 schools to receive a grant that aims to prevent suicide by building a system to help students cope with life’s challenges.

The Sources of Strength grant awarded through the state Department of Education in partnership with the Idaho Lives Project is intended to help middle and high school students identify coping skills and learn how to reach out to others, The Times-News reported .

South Hills Middle School in Twin Falls will be among the schools to receive the grant next school year, getting $2,400 to implement the program.

The program focuses on suicide prevention and incorporates a wellness aspect dealing with social issues, bullying, substance abuse and violence, said Sheri Remming, a South Hills school counselor.

Children in middle school are often presented with new challenges that require new skills, Remming said.

“This is where they are really developing how to get along with a large group of people, and they’re intermixing through seven different classes and seven different teachers, and it can be a really difficult time for a lot of kids,” Remming said.

The program intends to build trust and ensure that students have someone to talk with, Remming said. Much of it focuses on creating relationships and connecting students, she said.

Teachers will nominate about 50 students to serve as peer mentors to help lead activities and outreach at the school. The students will undergo training and be guided by adults, Remming said.

The Sources of Strength program launched in North Dakota in 1998. It has since spread to other states and has been in operation in Idaho for about five years.


Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com

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