RIDE launches $3M W.E.L.L. initiative to support school wellness spaces

PROVIDENCE – State officials and the R.I. Department of Education on May 9 launched the $3 million Wellness in Education Leads to Learning, or W.E.L.L., initiative to support developing wellness spaces in schools across the state.

Additionally, the initiative will provide funds for accompanying professional development and programming.

Gov. Daniel J. McKee, R.I. Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green and RIDE said jointly the designed wellness spaces will allow students and staff to experience a quiet atmosphere and have a chance to decompress. This initiative comes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and schools looking to reimagine themselves to meet students’ holistic needs.

State officials say local education agencies with up to 4,000 students are eligible for $100,000 in funding to help purchase furniture and furnishings for these spaces. Larger agencies can receive $150,000. Additionally, LEAs can apply to use the one-time funds to contribute toward staff and student wellness programming, state officials said.

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Interested local education agencies seeking funding should apply to RIDE via email by May 26 at SBACapitalFund@ride.ri.gov.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette

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