Town of Arlington
Department of Health and Human Services
Christine Bongiorno, Director
27 Maple St.
Arlington, MA 02476
Arlington Youth Counseling Center
Colleen Leger, Director
670 R Massachusetts Ave.
Arlington, MA 02474
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Colleen Leger
Arlington Youth Counseling Center Awarded $100,000 to Support Programs at Elementary Schools
ARLINGTON — The Arlington Youth Counseling Center (AYCC) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation to support school-based counseling and mental health consultation for children in Arlington’s elementary schools.
AYCC is one of 100 local area charities to receive the Cummings “$100K for 100” grant, which will be dispersed to AYCC over a three-year period. With the funding, AYCC will expand counseling services in the elementary schools through a partnership called Project SUCCESS.
Project SUCCESS originated through a federal grant awarded to the Arlington Public Schools in 2012 to increase the schools’ capacity to identify students in need of mental health counseling and to help facilitate access to these services.
“We are so excited to receive this grant from the Cummings Foundation to further our work at Arlington’s elementary schools,” said Christine Bongiorno, Arlington’s Director of Health and Human Services. “To continue funding and increase resources for Project SUCCESS, which is a crucial program in the schools, is a huge benefit to students, their families and the community as a whole.”
Over the past 2 1/2 years, AYCC clinicians have provided school-based counseling to over 50 students annually from all seven Arlington elementary schools. To further support the mental health needs of students, AYCC clinicians also consulted regularly with classroom teachers and school social workers. During this time, behavioral incidents in the elementary schools decreased notably, and many students referred for school-based counseling continued at AYCC.
With federal funding for Project SUCCESS ending this spring, the Cummings “$100K for a 100” grant will enable AYCC to continue critical counseling services in the elementary schools at no cost to the Arlington Public Schools. It will also allow for a part-time project coordinator to oversee the referral and screening process, and to assist with collecting outcome measures. Additionally, the grant provides two hours a week for AYCC clinicians at each of the elementary school to consult with classroom teachers, school social workers and families of Project SUCCESS students.
Through regular correspondence with counseling and teaching staff at the schools, AYCC clinicians are able to better assess and respond to the mental health needs of each student. School-based counseling sessions provided by AYCC clinicians will continue to be billed through insurance or, under certain circumstances, arrangements will be made with eligible families for free or reduced cost services.
AYCC, a division of Arlington Health and Human Services, is a community-based and fully licensed, mental health counseling center serving Arlington youth (ages 3-21) and their families. It is the mission of AYCC to promote and support the social and emotional wellbeing of all Arlington’s youth and families, regardless of their ability to pay. AYCC provides a variety of high quality, innovative and supportive outpatient mental health services, including individual, group, and family counseling, psychiatric evaluation and consultation, and medication management.
Cummings Foundation, Inc. is a private operating foundation based in Woburn. Since its establishment in 1986, it has been funded primarily by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester. The Cummings Foundation has grown to become one of the largest charitable foundations in New England, with just more than $1.2 billion in net assets as of December 2013.