It's our people that make us unique!
Since 2008, the COMET team has been working to support the success of children. The people who develop and support COMET have first-hand knowledge of the challenges child-focused organizations face when operating and evaluating their programs.
I have had the unique experience of working with Primary Project previously as a coordinator for a community mental health agency and now as a school counselor. For the past five years, I have served as the school counselor for Turnbow Elementary in Springdale, Arkansas. We have a diverse student population of 650 students: 89% of students receive free or reduced lunch; 65% of students are Latino; 18% are Marshallese; 15% are Caucasian; 2% are African American. Whether in my role as a community mental health professional within an agency or now as a school counselor, I find the data I receive from the T-CRS valuable.
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.