Archive for Thursday, January 26, 2006

WRAP future

A program that puts mental health professionals in the Lawrence schools has proven its worth.

January 26, 2006


Even if state funding for K-12 schools increases again next year, there never is enough money to fund every program or fill every need.

But as local officials consider their budget priorities for the coming year, they should give favorable attention to a program that puts mental health professionals into the Lawrence schools to help youngsters deal with a variety of problems.

WRAP, operated by Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, stands for Working to Recognize Alternative Possibilities. The program was initiated in Lawrence's high schools in 1997 and expanded within a couple of years into the district's four junior highs and its elementary schools. During that time, the WRAP program has come close to extinction more than once because of funding concerns. Through grant funding and other efforts, however, the program has continued to function in Lawrence.

Now, however, another grant is coming to an end. To make up for the funding loss, the WRAP program is asking the local school district, as well as the city and county commissions, to come up with about $800,000 to keep it alive. It's not a small amount of money, but it's a good investment in Lawrence's future.

One of WRAP's initial focuses was to deal with truancy at Lawrence high schools. The goal was to connect with youngsters who were falling through the cracks and help them work through whatever issues were keeping them away from school. Whether it was problems with parents, problems with teachers or just bad attitude, WRAP counselors helped students look at their situation in another way and, as the name notes, seek "alternative possibilities" for their lives. Unfortunately, it was discovered that many younger students also were dealing with difficult issues, and the program was expanded.

Students and their families have offered many testimonials concerning the positive impact of the WRAP program. One parent dramatically told the Lawrence school board this week that her son's relationship with a WRAP worker saved his life. Teachers, who either don't have the time or don't have the training to help students handle every problem, also welcome the efforts of WRAP workers. The success of the program has drawn national attention.

Supt. Randy Weseman said this week that the WRAP program is only one of many great grant programs that eventually are "going to want to be picked up." That's what grants are all about. They provide seed money to develop new programs that might never be tried without that funding. Then programs have to find other funding sources. It's survival of the fittest; only the best programs can, or should, be retained.

WRAP has proven its worth by helping students deal with a whole range of problems that get in the way of their being ready to learn and prepare themselves for useful lives. It's one of the programs that deserves to be incorporated into the Lawrence school district's long-range strategy.


Rich Minder 12 years, 2 months ago

Why no mention in the editorial of the need for the County Government - the governmental unit that actually has the mandate to provide for public health, i.e., mental health, to help pick up the cost of this public health concern?

norm 12 years, 2 months ago

Defund WRAP.

WRAP has been being used to continue the attack on boys in it's feminization of boys.

The "studies" are clear and convincing that with the feminization of boys has come a decrease in boys' ability to succeed not only in the school environment, but in society as a whole following school.

Get these fluffy, touchy feely incompetents out of my son's life so he can learn to be a man.

But then it's the norm around here to mess up's the liberal way of doing things....

"Sommers gives us the background for the feminization of boys starting in 1990 when Carol Gilligan announced to the world that America's adolescent girls were in a crisis. She subjects Gilligan's research on girls and boys to extensive analysis and finds it less than scientific and effectively dispenses with the myth of the "Fragile Girl." Mary Pipher calls American society a "girl-poisoning" and "girl-destroying culture." Pipher informs her readers in Reviving Ophelia that her clinic is filled with girls "who have tried to kill themselves." Sommers recites the CDC suicide statistics and it's really the boys who are committing suicide, increasing at three times the rate of girls. In a population of nine million 10- to 14-year-old girls, an absolute increase of 13 is not evidence of a "girl-destroying culture." The AAUW spent $100,000 on a study of "How Schools Shortchange Girls " and then $150,000 promoting it to an uncritical and enthusiastic media. Susan Chira's report of this for The New York Times was headlined "Bias Against Girls Is Found Rife in Schools, with Lasting Damage." When the author called on Ms Chira and asked her if she had obtained any critical evaluation of her thesis, Ms Chira stated, after a long silence, "I don't want to talk about this." When asked why she had not sought out critics, she said, "I see where this is going. . . . . I wish you the best of luck. Goodbye," taking the journalistic equivalent of the Fifth Amendment. When she called back later, Sommers asked if she would write it the same way today. She responded that she would not have, since we now have learned so much about boys' deficits."

Paula Kissinger 12 years, 2 months ago

"Get these fluffy, touchy feely incompetents out of my son's life so he can learn to be a man."

So, Norm, is your son involved in the WPAP program at his school ? Have you not seen any benefit from this in his life ? If not, then you must not be as involved in this child's life as necessary...which could be why he is in the WRAP program.

How about you don't feel threatened by professional people helping your son through his problems and be grateful that they are available to assist him ? Would you rather have your son learn how to deal with his problems rationally or just become another statistic ?

You evidently have no idea of what the WRAP program does or how it functions in the schools. Instead of assuming that this is some program based on a liberal "tree-hugging" agenda you should do more research on this issue. The quotes from the article you posted have nothing to do with what is being taught in the schools by the WRAP workers.

I wholeheartedly support the WRAP program. My son has been involved with the program for over 4 years and it has been more than beneficial to our family. My husband and I certainly do not condone the liberals point of view. We are intelligent individuals who are appreciative for a program that helps our son deal with acts of harassment and violence perpetrated on him in the school by children who come from homes where "feminization" certainly does not exist. These are children that are acting out their frustrations and they need to be in the WRAP program so they can learn that the cycle of violence can be broken and they can lead productive lives without it.

If you want to do something constructive, support the WRAP program and question why the schools continue to allow criminal acts, not some horseplay, without adequate punishment. Instead of being concerned about someone feminizing your son at school you should investigate who battered him on any given day at school or on the school bus and why he refuses to talk about it to you.

The WRAP program is for one is denied and everyone benefits. The only agenda it promotes is one of survival and learning to cope with life's problems. Isn't that what we as decent parents have always tried to teach our children ourselves? It is nothing more than a re-enforcement of values and an introduction of those values to children who come from homes deficit in morality. Show me what is wrong with that.

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