State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) recently announced three projects in his district funded by grants from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) through Building Strong Brains Tennessee initiative. The initiative is a partnership between state government and the private sector that promotes policies, programs and practices to prevent and reduce adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in children, youth and young adults.
“Research has shown that ACEs increase the risk for many negative health and well-being outcomes later in life, including chronic illness, depression, poverty, and addiction,” said Senator Yager. “Tennessee has made considerable progress in our efforts to establish the state as a national model for promoting changes to help these children and their families. I am very pleased these funds are available for projects in our district and hope that many children and families will be helped by the action,” he added.
Grants in Senator Yager’s district include: Tennessee State Parks’ ACE Resiliency Project at Frozen Head State Park to increase understanding of the benefits to outdoor learning and direct experience with nature to support ACE resilience; Ridgeview Behavioral Health’s “Head Start Brain Builders” program to provide an integrated, collaborative, early ACEs intervention to school personnel and parents; Oneida Special School District’s “Project Positive Brain Change” for grades preschool through five to address current chronic absenteeism rants and increase in health disparities.
In the 2019/2020 budget, the General Assembly appropriated $2.5 million in recurring funds for ACEs-related activities, including 25 Community Innovations grants funding a wide range of projects across Tennessee.