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Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $6 Million in New Grants to Address Community Violence and Impacts on Student Mental Health

On January 11, Vice President Kamala Harris announced $6.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education (Department) to address community violence. The funding is being awarded to seven school districts across the country as part of the Project Prevent grant program. The Vice President will make the announcement in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she will be joined by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to reduce gun violence and expand access to mental health services for students. 

“Every child deserves the freedom to live safe from gun violence in their school and throughout their community. President Biden and I are committed to protecting this freedom and continuing to address an epidemic of gun violence that has become the leading cause of death for children across America,” said Vice President Harris. “With today’s announcement, we are reaffirming our Administration’s dedication to preventing this senseless violence and keeping our children, families, and communities safe. As we call on Congress to pass commonsense gun safety policies, we are proud to fund proven solutions like those supported by Project Prevent that help schools increase access to mental health and other resources for their students.” 

“The youth mental health crisis and the devastating impact of gun violence on our communities have been mounting for years, but thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are making historic investments that will reshape how our schools care for students and provide the safe learning environments they need to grow and succeed,” Secretary Cardona said. “Today’s announcement of another $6.4 million in Project Prevent funding complements the Biden-Harris Administration’s unprecedented $2 billion investment secured through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to transform school-based mental health and create safer and more positive school climates. These investments mean that schools and communities will have more resources for the interventions that help keep students safe and healthy. The fact is, we cannot recover academically and Raise the Bar for education in this country unless we meet the needs of the whole child, and that starts with creating safe, welcoming schools where teaching and learning can truly thrive.” 

Project Prevent grants help build the capacity of local educational agencies (LEAs) that have been impacted by community violence to expand their capacity to implement community- and school-based strategies to prevent and mitigate the impacts of community violence, and to address the impacts of exposure to community violence. For fiscal year 2024, seven new grants, totaling approximately $6.4 million, will focus on building connections between schools and community-based organizations to provide students with the resources to help break cycles of violence and trauma, including through the use of mental health services and support. 

Read the full version of the release on the Department’s website. 

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