Project GRAD Honored As an Inaugural BridgeUp at Menninger Magic Grant Recipient

Project GRAD Houston is one of seven inaugural BridgeUp at Menninger grantees that will address the social, emotional and mental well-being of vulnerable students in Houston whose lives have been challenged by economic, health and family hardships. One of the nation’s leading mental healthcare systems and a Texas Medical Center Institution, Menninger announced an inaugural $1 million in grants to establish BridgeUp at Menninger, an innovative model that integrates evidence-based social and emotional learning programs into after-school initiatives to help vulnerable students succeed in school and beyond. Launching in tandem with the 2016-17 school year, the BridgeUp at Menninger grant, will allow Project GRAD to incorporate social and emotional competencies into their personal narrative and storytelling program for youth attending Marshall Middle School and Davis High School. The curriculum will also be integrated into programs for instructors and mentors.

Adding to the uniqueness of BridgeUp at Menninger, Project GRAD executives have been invited to participate in a cohort alongside other grantees who will collaborate to further develop this model for implementing social and emotional programming into after-school programs. We’re also excited that there will be scientific measurements in place to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs as well as the potential for replicating the most effective approaches on a larger scale, locally and nationally.

BridgeUp at Menninger joins two other BridgeUp models that provide after-school programming for at-risk youth in New York City through the New York Public Library and the American Museum of Natural History. Funding for BridgeUp at Menninger and all of the BridgeUp models is made possible through the David and Helen Gurley Brown Trust.

From left Patricia Gail Bray, Ph.D., director of BridgeUp at Menninger presents Kathryn Ketelsen, co-founder and chair of Project GRAD and board member of the Alley Theatre; Ann Stiles, EdD, president and CEO of Project GRAD Houston, and Mary Sutton, the Alley Theatre’s director of education and community education, a certificate acknowledging that Project GRAD and The Alley Theatre are inaugural BridgeUp at Menninger grantees. Dr. C. Edward Coffey, president and CEO of The Menninger Clinic, applauded their collaborative approach, adding that BridgeUp at Menninger is a unique opportunity to blend best practices in academics with best practices in mental health to ensure that youth become healthy, productive adolescents who thrive. (Photo Credit: John R. Lewis)

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