Each year, the Smith-Cotton Lady Tigers Soccer program’s booster club funds its Mental Health Awareness grants through the annual Mental Health Awareness game.

T-shirt sales, bracelet sales, admissions and donations help contribute to the MHA grant fund to provide mental wellness resources to Sedalia School District 200. Educators apply for funds to support a mental health program to benefit district students and staff members.

Here are this year’s grant recipients:

Lorin Blackburn Thierfelder, Smith-Cotton High School librarian
Receiving $500 grant to impact up to 1,500 students and the entire SCHS staff

“The days of the school library being a no-talk, sit-and-read zone are, thankfully, non-existent in our school district. The library is an essential part of the high school where students can collaborate, gather, create, and relax. With this project, my hope is to help students manage stress in an effective and appropriate way by having different ‘De-Stress’ centers throughout the space. We hope to provide a safe outlet where students, even if just for a couple minutes, can recharge and reset."

Sarah Beaman and Sarah Walker, Parkview Elementary counselor and social worker
Receiving $700 grant to impact all Sedalia 200 families

“Our mental health project is to have Josh Varner speak to Sedalia 200 parents and caregivers on the effects of generational trauma and its impact on education and overall quality of life for our students. Generational trauma knows no limits in socioeconomic status. We are unaware of the number of families and impacts that are made on our upcoming generation due to mental illness, addictions and trauma. Josh Varner’s presentation can provide families with encouragement and resources they might not have previously had access to and help create a safe environment at home for our students so they are able to come to school and learn in a productive way."

Susie Howe, Heber Hunt Elementary third grade teacher Receiving $77 grant to impact 40 students and residents at Primrose Independent Living Center

Ms. Howe’s project is “Letter-Writing Buddies.” Her class will partner with Primrose Independent Living Center in Sedalia and will assign letter-writing buddies (pen pals) between students/residents who will write letters back and forth to one another. This project will fulfill mental wellness needs of making connections and promoting positive communications with others. Letter writing also will improve students’ writing and communication skills, build a sense of empathy and compassion, and can help combat feelings of isolation for both students and Primrose residents.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness game is scheduled for Tuesday, April 30, at Tiger Stadium. The Lady Tigers will face CMAC foe Rock Bridge, with JV starting at 5 pm and varsity playing afterward. Those who purchase a T-shirt and wear it to the matches will be admitted free of charge. T-shirt sales details will be shared soon.

In the photo: Smith-Cotton girls soccer players visit with Heber Hunt Elementary third grade teacher Susie Howe, far right, and her students. Howe received one of the team’s mental health grants.

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