Grant helps students exposed to violence

San Francisco public schools have received a $2.8 million federal grant to help students suffering from trauma because they have been exposed to violence.

The U.S. Department of Education will provide the San Francisco Unified School District with $570,000 a year for five years as part of its Project Prevent grant. SFUSD will use the funds to support a school-based violence intervention and prevention program at schools in the Bayview.

Superintendent Richard A. Carranza said in a statement:

“We are committed to ensuring all our students feel safe, healthy and ready to learn.”

Homicide is the leading cause of death among San Francisco youth between the ages of 15 and 24, nearly double the rate statewide, according to the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Families.

Children who are exposed to shootings and homicides can suffer the effects of trauma, according to SFUSD. More than 44 percent of Bayview residents who come to a public health clinic report having been exposed to at least one trauma, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Exposure to trauma and negative childhood experiences cause children to be at higher risk of being overweight or obese and having behavioral or learning problems, SFUSD said.

Carranza said in his statement:

“We have more nurses and social workers in our schools than ever before, and this grant will allow our expert service providers and our community partners to implement a comprehensive, multi-tiered array of violence prevention and intervention strategies.”