Middle school is a time when too many students start to disengage and begin putting their futures at risk. However, United Way’s OnTrack Greenville initiative is helping middle school students stay on track toward high school graduation and a successful future.
OnTrack Greenville is being accomplished through a strategic collaboration among United Way of Greenville County, Greenville County Schools, The Riley Institute and many philanthropic partners. In addition, evidence-based partners including Building Educated Leaders for Life, Communities in Schools (CIS), Greenville Health System (GHS) and Public Education Partners (PEP) are providing students with services that address physical, mental and emotional health, youth development, summer programming, academic support, and leadership.
One of those partners, GHS’s Bradshaw Institute was recently awarded $3.38 million over five years from Healthy Greenville 2036 to sustain and expand the School Based Health Center (SBHC) established by OnTrack Greenville.
Presently operating in four middle schools— Berea Middle School, Tanglewood Middle School, Lakeview Middle School and Greenville Early College — the SBHC provides health care services including acute care, chronic condition check-ups, sports physicals, behavior and mental health screening, and referrals to medical specialists, medical homes, and community resources. One benefit of a SBHC is that students do not have to leave school to receive health care which results in loss of learning time and parents missing work. In fact, 94% of students treated in the centers last year returned to class.
It was this early success that contributed to the Bradshaw Institute receiving this funding, which will sustain current operations while expanding and replicating a SBHC at Carolina Academy, the high school most students from Tanglewood Middle attend, thereby creating a continuum of care.
The grant will also fund a new position, a Trauma Informed Specialist, who will work with faculty, staff and students in the OnTrack Schools on how to recognize the signs of trauma, how they manifest in student behaviors and academic performance and implement evidence-based trauma-informed systems that promote student resilience and increase positive academic and non-academic outcomes for students.
“We are proud of the work of the GHS Bradshaw Institute’s SBHC and thrilled they have received funding to continue, sustain and expand their impact,” said OnTrack Director, Tobi Kinsell. “To thoughtfully integrate health care in our schools with the greatest need, is not only providing vital care to young people, but it is transforming how schools partner with healthcare providers to address trauma and adverse childhood experiences, ultimately putting young people on the Cycle of Success and helping them live a longer, healthier life. Our goal with OnTrack Greenville was to identify the supports that best address the needs students that schools don’t have the capacity to support and replicate and sustain those supports. This is our first example of doing just that and we are excited about the transformational impact this will have on our community.”