BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Continuing the Clarkston for Life initiative, Clarkston Community Schools has partnered with Easterseals Michigan to provide individualized counseling at North Sashabaw Elementary (NSE).
“This is exactly what Clarkston for Life is focused upon. We are very pleased to partner with Easterseals on this effort and we will have many more partnerships in the future to enhance living and learning in Clarkston for people of all ages,” Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock said.
One day a week an Easterseals Michigan therapist is onsite at NSE to provide counseling and referral services while collaborating with the school social worker, teachers and parents.
“This is a truly groundbreaking partnership for North Sashabaw Elementary School and for the district as a whole,” NSE Principal Jennifer Johnson said. “We are already seeing the benefit of having an Easterseals therapist on campus, and are proud to serve as a model for this program to be expanded into other Clarkston schools in the future.”
If a student requires more care outside of school, Easterseals can connect with private insurance and Medicaid.
“Clarkston Schools is a leader in recognizing the impact that mental health has and how it affects the school environment,” Easterseals Michigan President and CEO Brent Worth said. ”Often times mental health challenges develop in childhood and are very much treatable. This collaborative effort provides needed access to mental health care that supports students to be more engaged in school and successful in life.”
This partnership furthers Clarkston Community Schools focus on the social, emotional, physical and mental well-being of students and its connection to positive life outcomes.
“We know adverse childhood experiences, such as abuse, neglect, sustained illness, poverty, have a negative impact on our students socially, emotionally, academically, and physically—not only during their time in school, but all throughout life,” Rock explained. “Anything we can do as a community to better support children who have experienced such trauma is extremely beneficial.”