Positive Connections targets mental health of children - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Positive Connections targets mental health of children

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Positive Connections is a local program part of the Calcasieu Parish School System that provides one on one instruction to students with mental health needs.

In its third year, Positive Connections offers the academic needs many students with mental health issues require.

"It works and we just have to work with our students, work with our community, work with our school staff and make sure we're all on the same page when it comes to children with mental health issues," Project Director Ernest Fruge said.

And during these hard financial times especially in education, the program is able to give more learning opportunities to special needs children.

"For those students that need this type of program, typically what happens is, those services may or may not be available with budget cuts to services to children," Fruge said. "Mental health is usually the first thing cut."

The program uses grant money and money from fundraising to operate and the program is of no cost to families who enroll. 

Grandparent of a Positive Connections student Pamelia Villa said her grandson is in the fifth grade, doing well and has come a long way since he first began.

"I'm hoping that my grandson will go to start regular school soon," Villa said. "Back to school with other children you know? He's a big basketball player."

Villa said the program has been a huge benefit to her grandson's academic growth and development. And getting that extra push to reach academic goals.

"If you can save one child, it's worth it," Fruge said. "And so we're very excited about being able to bring this to Louisiana and to Lake Charles."

The program assists students in grades kindergarten through 12. There is on-site academic instruction for students K through 8.

The program is to help address individual needs early on through skill building learning classes.

Positive Connections is located at 5254 Weaver Road in Lake Charles.

For more information about Positive Connections, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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