© Nancy Kelly
Health Minister Leo Glavine smiles during a performance by students at St. Mary’s Elementary School on May 23, after announcing the SchoolsPlus program will be expanded to include a Kings County site. -Nancy Kelly, www.kingscountynews.ca
Students and families in Kings County will have greater access to services and after-school programs through a multi-year expansion of the SchoolsPlus program and more mental health clinicians in schools.
Health Minister Leo Glavine was in his home riding of Kings West, at St. Mary’s Elementary School in Aylesford, on May 23 to announce the newest site in the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board. Similar announcements were made simultaneously in Glace Bay, Inverness and New Glasgow.
Glavine said the SchoolsPlus initiative is about “families, children and communities getting the support they need in a safe, comfortable and familiar location.”
Services offered include mentoring, homework support and connections to justice and health and wellness programming.
Margo Tait, AVRSB superintendent, added that the team approach is what sets the initiative apart and has made it successful at the board’s other two school sites in Annapolis and West Hants.
“If you had a problem, would it be helpful to have one person help you or a whole team of people who care about you?” asked Tait as she addressed the grades primary to five in the audience.
SchoolsPlus has lead to improved attendance, she said, and is “helping families get the resources they need for better education and health outcomes.”
During his visit to St. Mary’s, Glavine also announced the addition of 10 mental health clinician positions to select school sites on the South Shore, in the southwest region, Annapolis Valley, Pictou, Guysborough/Antigonish, Cape Breton and First Nations communities located in these areas.
“I am here to encourage you to talk openly about mental wellness. And now there is more help right here in school,” he said.