KINGSTON, N.Y. – November 27, 2018 – The Benedictine Health Foundation granted $15,000 to the Kingston City School District to allow J. Watson Bailey and M. Clifford Miller middle schools to continue “Do Better Today” a program that helps students develop coping skills for stressful situations and academic challenges. The pilot program was launched in 2017 with tremendous success.
The program aims to benefit students in grades five through eight who show aggression, are impulsive, lack coping skills, refuse to come to school due to anxiety, demonstrate antecedent drug-use behavior or a have a tendency to harm themselves.
The program fits with the school district’s “restorative justice” effort to address disciplinary problems with methods other than punishment using Dialectical Behavior Therapy, an evidenced-based practice that teaches individuals how to regulate their emotions and maintain balance in their lives through mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, radical acceptance, walking the middle path and interpersonal effectiveness.
“We are very fortunate to offer this type of support to our students. Last year, we met with small groups after school, which will continue, but we now are able to offer DBT to our sixth grade students in their classrooms due to this generous gift from the Benedictine Health Foundation. The “Do Better Today” program offers an opportunity to bring mindfulness and intentionality to our adolescent community members. We are extremely excited for this opportunity,” stated Debra Fitzgerald, Principal, J. Watson Bailey Middle School.