WAHOO – The school based therapy programs instituted by Saunders County Youth Services will be expanding for the next school year.

Youth Services Director Amber Pelan said the program will be expanding this fall to include East Butler and Raymond Central High School public schools.

This is being made possible because of an additional Nebraska Crime Commission Community-based Aid Juvenile Services Enhancement grant secured by Saunders County Youth Services. This grant provides $45,150 to help fund the new therapy programs at East Butler and Raymond Central public schools.

Behavioral therapy services work to provide support for kids and school staff that may need assistance in understanding how to handle behavioral issues.

Pelan said the school-based behavioral therapy continues to go well at other schools as well.

“It’s gone very well,” she said.

The current total of the grant for next year’s programs for all schools is $87,422. Behavior therapy services have been available at Wahoo, Yutan, Mead, St. Wenceslaus and Ashland-Greenwood schools.

It costs approximately $15,000 to have the therapist in the school one day a week for 42 weeks.

Pelan said Wahoo Public pays to have their therapist present at the school for three days a week; Yutan Public pays for one, Mead Public for one, Ashland-Greenwood for two and St. Wenceslaus for one.

After a year of progress, she said the therapy programs were performing as expected. Eighty-five students from different schools are currently active in the program, with a total of 109 students making use of the service at some point of the year.

At the end of the school year, many schools reported to Pelan that students needed more time with their designated therapists. However, due to costs, extending the time for some schools is not possible.

Some schools have opted to keep their therapists on the job over the summer, providing support for the kids while out of school. Yutan, Mead and Ashland-Greenwood schools will continue with their therapists over the summer months.

“Hopefully we’ll get good information and keep prevention for youths in the areas going,” she said.

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