New NCDPI grant to support student, families

Jamie Williams earned two years, $421,068 in funding from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to lead and provide professional development opportunities to teachers and school staff to properly benefit students and families.

Williams is principal investigator and will be supported by Molly Robinson Tripp, both of whom are teaching instructors in the East Carolina University Department of Health Education and Promotion.  Williams said the North Carolina School Health Training Center, which she and Dr. Michele Waller have co-directed since the center moved to ECU in 2016, will support the Title V State Sexual Risk Avoidance grant program by providing evidence-based, medically accurate professional development.

“This work ensures the development of knowledge and skills for teachers and school staff that will maintain a school environment that supports the well-being of vulnerable students and families,” Williams said.

The NCSHTC has been a leader in health education professional development since its inception in 1988. The center began at UNC Greensboro and has since transitioned to Appalachian State University and ECU. It is housed within HEP and further strengthens the public health focus within ECU by providing services to school districts with the highest teen pregnancy rates, many of which are in eastern North Carolina, and by working collaboratively with school districts demonstrating the highest level of health disparities and need.

Williams and Wallen, chair of the Department of Health Education and Promotion, have additional funding from NCDHHS, while Tripp has funding from Trillium.