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25 April 2018 |

When Harrah Elementary staff first heard about Primary Project, they instantly knew it was a support service they wanted to offer students experiencing mild school adjustment difficulties. Harrah Elementary is unique among primary schools in Washington State. Housed on the Yakama Indian Nation, Harrah Elementary serves 563 students in grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, 52% of whom are Native American, 38% Hispanic or Latino, and 5% White. Over 90% of the school population is low-income and 71 students are identified as homeless. Harrah Elementary students are exposed to a number of risk factors associated with the development of mental health issues, including high rates of academic failure, a reduced commitment to school, and repeated exposure to traumatic events in the community. This school year alone, two Harrah Elementary parents died in car accidents, and four community youth died in car accidents, hit-and-runs, or due to other traumatic circumstances. The stressful circumstances in which many Harrah Elementary students live are often expressed in the classroom, as students struggle to adjust to school and develop the confidence and social skills needed to focus on learning.

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