Brigid Collins partnering with Bellingham schools to improve classroom experience for abused children

Whatcom Community Foundation has awarded Brigid Collins Family Support Center $10,000 to improve academic achievement and classroom behavior for victims of child abuse and neglect.

Brigid Collins will use the funding to partner with the Bellingham School District to measure the impact of evidence-based parenting services on elementary school classrooms.

The goal of the project is not only to improve the academic outcomes for the children directly receiving services, but to improve classroom experience for all children.

“Research tells us, 43 percent of teachers spend more time managing classroom behavior than teaching, wasting $2,628 per child on behavior management,” Byron Manering, Brigid Collins Family Support Center executive director, said in an April 30 press release. “This project will allow the teachers to focus resources on academics over behavior management.”

The project will focus on elementary-school age children whose families have been referred to Brigid Collins for services.

Each child and parent or caregiver will receive approximately 42 hours of evidence-based parenting service and will work closely with a liaison from Brigid Collins who will orient the family to the services, review academic and behavior records and assess the change in academic performance.

“This project will link hard-to-engage parents in a direct way to their child’s academic success–something the Bellingham School District has been struggling to do effectively for a very long time,” Steve Clarke, Bellingham School District executive director of teaching and learning, said.

Brigid Collins Family Support Center is a private nonprofit organization serving families throughout Whatcom and Skagit counties. Its mission is to break the cycle of child abuse both by preventing child abuse and helping families to heal after abuse or neglect has occurred.

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