Trillium launches grant to help ECP teachers impacted by Florence

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One mental health service in the East is looking to make a difference in the lives of teachers impacted by Florence.

Trillium Health Resources launched a grant Friday to benefit Exceptional Children’s Program teachers across our area affected by Florence.

The Blooming Again grant is for teachers of special needs students to replace items in the classrooms damaged due to Florence.

“This is just one example of some of the things Trillium is doing to help the community heal,” Cindy Ehlers said. 

The $500 grant is aimed at helping the teachers regain normalcy in their classrooms.

“These are items that teachers typically buy out of their own pocket with their own money. not items that are typically bought by the school systems,” Ehlers said.

The money goes to buying specific items that help children with special needs learn such as switch operated toys, sensory items and other specialized equipment.

Ehlers said so far, more than 40 teachers have applied.

“We have already received lots of application from teachers in Onslow and Craven counties,” Ehlers said. “Teachers who had maybe their whole career had saved and bought items, the entire classroom was just thrown out. They are starting back over with nothing.”

Ehlers said while teachers across the East are recovering from Florence, so are families with special needs individuals.

Some may be having a difficult time after being out of school for weeks.

“It can have pretty profound impacts on a child and their family,” Ehlers said. “A lot of times that structure they have each day really does give the child an opportunity to self-manage and self-regulate some of their behavior.”

Ehlers said the goal of the grant is to help students and their families get back into their normal routines as soon as possible.

“We hope it helps the teachers not feel as much of a burden on their own personal bank accounts, and we are definitely hoping that the students will be able to move forward with their education and have a great school year the remainder of the year,” Ehlers said.

The teachers will start Amazon wishlists for items they need.

If you would like to adopt a teacher to fund his or her wishlist, you may reach out to Trillium to do so.

The list of requirements can be found here.

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