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Ashe County Schools Receive Grant Funding for Mental Health Services!

Press Release - Ashe County Schools


Ashe County Schools Receive Grant Funding for Mental Health Services!



Ashe County, NC – October 4, 2019.  Ashe County Schools is pleased to announce that we have been selected to receive $842,586 in grant funding for the Rural School Mental Health Training and Service Provision in North Carolina, which is a Federal Department of Education grant.  The total grant value of $2.5M is to be divided between Ashe County Schools, Appalachian State University and RTI International over a five-year period of time.  Director of Student Services Jamie Little was responsible for applying for the grant and will serve as Grant Project Manager.


The responsibilities for this grant will be allocated in the following ways:

  • Ashe County Schools will oversee the program as a whole and work to place clinical counseling and psychology interns in the areas of highest need in Ashe County’s individual schools.
  • Appalachian State University’s Psychology Department will provide support to Ashe County Schools by training and sending their clinical students to our county for internship hours. This will add another layer of support to the services that our students are already receiving from school-based employees.
  • RTI International will collect data from the program and will assist both Ashe County Schools and Appalachian State University with needed professional development training based on their data. This will provide a guided direction for how services are implemented at the school level.


“This is a great opportunity for Ashe County Schools to pull in additional resources to better support our students in the area of mental health services.  I’m also am extremely proud of Jamie Little for her hard work in acquiring this grant for our district.  I believe that she will do an excellent job as Grant Project Manager and I think that our students will greatly benefit from this program.”


Ashe County Schools Superintendent,

Phyllis Yates


“We are excited and honored to receive this grant!  We are going to do great things for our students with this opportunity.  We are pleased that our teachers will have access to training and resources that will help us to better meet the mental health needs of our students.”


Director of Student Services,

Jamie Little

Press Release - Appalachian State University


October 1, 2019. The U.S. Department of Education announced its decision to fully fund the Rural School Mental Health Training and Service Provision in North Carolina grant proposal in the amount of 2.5 million dollars over the next 5 years. The successful proposal is based on a three-way partnership between the Ashe County School District, Appalachian State University (ASU), and RTI International.  At its core, the grant will promote a scaling up of the longstanding partnership between Appalachian State University and rural K-12 schools in developing and sustaining training sites called Assessment, Support, and Counseling (ASC) Centers designed to serve youth and families in rural North Carolina communities. Dr. Kurt Michael, the Stanley R. Aeschleman Distinguished Professor of Psychology and ASC Center co-founder, will serve as PI for ASU. The grant will help to deepen pre-professional preparation of ASU doctoral students in clinical psychology in hopes of deploying them strategically into high need schools after graduation. Pre-professional preparation will also include advanced, targeted coursework and practicum training in the provision and study of rural school mental health services. Though RTI is a new partner in this longstanding collaboration, Dr. Angela Quick, who leads the Center for Educational Services at RTI, is no stranger to the benefits of rural school mental health. Dr. Quick helped to co-found the original ASC Center at Watauga High with Dr. Michael. Also joining the project is RTI Research Psychologist, Dr. Anna Yaros. Dr. Yaros has extensive expertise in project design, research methodology, and program evaluation. Dr. Yaros will head up the independent evaluation team and was highly instrumental in crafting a successful grant proposal. All of the aforementioned elements will be coordinated through the Ashe County School District. The Project Director will be Jamie Little, the Director of Student Services and veteran teacher. Ms. Little has extensive administrative and classroom experience who is a well-established and trusted champion of the benefits of effective school mental health. Overall, these funded efforts across the key partners will bring much needed workforce preparation through the ASU doctoral program in clinical psychology and essential workforce development in the rural schools of North Carolina for years to come. Most importantly, it will create vastly improved capacity to serve children and families in our K-12 rural schools.