school notebook

Schools awarded mental health grant

THE WEDGE – Jefferson Community School will be one of three Minneapolis public schools receiving improved mental health services through a $300,000 grant announced in March by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Awarded over three years, the grant is targeted at services for refugee and immigrant youth, specifically in the Somali, Oromo, Liberian and Latino communities.

Students from refugee and immigrant families may be dealing with depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress related to their experiences, said Jim Johnson, district lead for social work and mental health.

“Access to care is one of the primary barriers to children receiving mental health services,” Johnson said.

Bringing mental health professionals into the schools has been shown to increase the rate at which families both begin and continue such care for their children, he added.

The grant comes as a part of the Caring Across Communities program, a new national initiative by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Johnson said the school district is already partnered with Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health, African Aid, La Familia Guidance Center and the Mental Health Collective through a federal Safe Schools Healthy Children grant. The new grant award is meant to continue that collaboration.

In addition to Jefferson, this new grant will fund programs at Andersen Elementary and Anne Sullivan Communication Center.

Sunshine Montessori to offer day camp

EAST HARRIET – Sunshine Montessori School will launch Sunshine Summer Day Camp for children ages 3-6 years old this summer, the school announced in March.

The day camp will run in six two-week sessions from June 4 to Aug. 24. Each session will include art and science projects, outdoor recreation and fieldtrips exploring the various themes.

The sessions offered include: Gardening and Farming; Dinosaurs and Archaeology; People and Transportation; Amazing Animals and Insects; Around the World; and Food: Garden to Table.

Camp runs 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is offered in both morning and full-day sessions. The cost is $120 per week for mornings only or $175 per week for full days. Children attending more than one session will be eligible for a discount.

Registration runs April 2 to May 11. For more information, visit or call 827-4504.

Earth Day carnival

WHITTIER – Whittier International Elementary School will mark Earth Day with its community carnival and silent auction 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. April 20.

The event will feature environment- and wellness-themed carnival games, an “earth walk,” food, prizes and a garbage sculpture created by Whittier students.

The school at 315 W. 26th St. is also the starting point of the Family Fitness Spirit Walk through Whittier neighborhood 6 p.m. April 18.

Teacher placement forum set for April 19

WINDOM – League of Women Voters Minneapolis will host a panel discussion on teacher placement 7 p.m.-9 p.m. April 19 at Mayflower Church (106 E. Diamond Lake Rd.).

Panelists, including teachers and principals, will compare how teachers are assigned to schools in various Twin Cities school districts.

To accommodate the discussion, the next Area C Parent Council meeting was rescheduled to 6:30 p.m. April 25 at Kenwood School (2013 Penn Ave. S.).


Reach Dylan Thomas at 436-4391 or [email protected].