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"I always knew there was a need" Shakamak schools to expand City Connects program, invest in mental health, career development

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Shakamak City Connects Program 6 pm

JASONVILLE, Ind. (WTHI) - A local school district is expanding mental health and career development resources.

Last week we told you Shakamak Schools received $1.8 million in grants for a City Connects project.

No matter where staff work in Shakamak schools, they all say the need for career development and mental health resources is clear.

Now, all students in Shakamak will be getting a boost in those resources across the district.

This year, Shakamak's counselor and City Connects site coordinator Kelley Miller has helped provide extra mental health and career resources for students.

Shakamak City Connects Program Expanding 5 pm

She says after nearly 19 years in the classroom, she sees a need for this now, more than ever.

"I always knew that there was a need for mental health and college and career readiness as well, but once I took on this position, I realized how important that was even more so," Miller said.

Shakamak superintendent Jeff Gambill says the need largely stems from the aftereffects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I think Covid kind of exposed that need when saw that there was a mental health need among students," Gambill said.

He says whether it's mental health or career development, he's excited to be able to provide these resources to elementary students, not just high school.

"What that does is identifies those students and what they want to do with their lives at an early age. And what that does is lets us put them into that track," Gambill said.

Miller says this program will be able to benefit the everyone who takes advantage of it.

"I just think that once we get into the elementary and establish that, it will just make that, then it's just going to make the whole school and program better," Miller said.

The city connects program will expand to the elementary school at the beginning of next year.

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