The Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Center has been approved for more than $131,000 in Title 1 funding to be used to supplement educational programming, career counseling, drug and alcohol counseling and parenting classes.
The grant through the Tennessee Alliance for Children and Families, which requires no additional matching funds, can also be used to hire additional educational personnel.
"We are so excited to be approved for this grant," Judge Donna Scott Davenport said. "We anticipate being able to provide additional education to our children who are held as well as provide life skills and career building for our children."
She said the grant will also allow the Juvenile Detention Center to focus on the "whole family and assist them in solutions to the problems they are facing."
"Prevention will be a large component of the grant," she said, "and we know we will be able to track success."
Officials said the Juvenile Detention Center plans to purchase technological equipment and software, which will complement the existing curriculum.
Juvenile Detention Teacher Kacye Watson said that these monies will enable her to add and incorporate interactive whiteboards, a computer lab and a software system that will aid in credit recovery, remedial work and test preparation.
"I am very excited about the new library we'll be establishing," Watson said. "Many of our students have never enjoyed reading until entering our facility and to be able to provide them with a variety of literature will be priceless."
In addition, a new life management curriculum will be implemented to include such topics as study skills, job seeking and readiness, entrepreneurship, communication skills, self-esteem, gang awareness, anger management, substance abuse prevention and much more.
Some of the new programming will be aimed toward helping parents. Parents will be encouraged to attend monthly meetings to review their children's progress.
Guest speakers will also be invited to present information pertinent to the successful parenting of at-risk youth.
"This grant allows us a wonderful chance at the Juvenile Detention Center to focus on the rehabilitation piece of the juvenile justice system," Watson said. "I am thrilled about the opportunities ahead of us."