Office of the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey
Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family

KYMA: Crane Schools Awarded Million Dollar Grant

October 16, 2019

YUMA, Ariz. - Tuesday, Crane School District announced it was awarded a $1-million federal grant from Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey's office.

The school district plans to invest the million-dollar grant into expanding its mental health resources.

Mental illness is a health epidemic sweeping the nation.

In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services report 12% of kids ages 12 to 17 admit to dealing with depression.

As a result, Crane believes its students' emotional and social development is now just as important as academic success. 

The funding will be spread over a three-year period to train and hire behavioral specialists.

The specialists will directly focus on suicide prevention and trauma response at Centennial and Crane Middle Schools.

The district said these are issues impacting local students and families.

However, the community’s resources are limited.

PR Coordination, Mario Hogue, wrote the grant and submitted it for review.

He said, “I just told the story of Yuma and Crane School District. [I was] really trying to speak from a student and family perspective of how needed this is and what trauma looks like.”

Crane's Superintendent, Laurie Doering, explained why the district chose to focus on their two middle schools.

“Middle school is a very difficult time in a child’s life. It’s one of the most difficult times as they transition from elementary to high school," she said.

Doering added, "[This grant] is critical, and we have lagged resources for years. Years ago, before the great recession, every school had an assistant principal and a full-time counselor, and we’ve had to cut back drastically on that.”

Crane is the only school district in Arizona to receive this competitive grant.

Administrators said their strong relationship with the governor’s office and partnerships in the community helped their school district win the award.

Ideally, the new mental health resources and programs will roll out in January 2020.