Grant Used to Help Kids Affected by School Bus Shooting

The Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center has received a grant for nearly $142,000.

The money will be used to help the students and others affected by the deadly Midland City school bus shooting.

20 students' lives were forever changed when Jimmy Lee Dykes stopped on a school bus and fatally shot bus driver Charles Poland and took a six-year-old boy, but despite such tragedy, the Child Advocacy Center in Dothan has programs in place to help cope.

"We decided we would set up programs of counseling and groups in the schools and we met with the school personnel to get it started so about a week after that we were contacted but the office of vitims of crime in washington about writing a grant," says Sherryl Walker, a representative from the Center.

They say writing a grant literally paid off.

"It is an 18 month grant so what we will be able to do is it will help pay for some of the expenses we have already incurred but it will aslo allow ius to provide consuling and groups and support and training to the first responders and school personell about how to react in these situations and also it is really important for people to iunderstand the affects of trama on children."

Some of the students on the bus are having a hard time coping either they cant ride a school bus anymore or they are having flashbacks of of the event but the CAC is trying to change that.

"One child I am familar with she was having a hard time sleeping at night and through therapy she was able to change her thought matters and realaize that was a one time thing and was able to implment some of the things we have taught her...she has been able to sleep by herself and smile."

It's a smile that Walker says validates why these therapy sessions are needed.

The funding for program lasts until July of 2014.


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