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‘We are here to help’

Poster offers virtual support to students at KCTC

The tri-colored posters along the walls of the Kent Career Tech Center offer a simple reminder to students who walk the facility’s halls: “We are here to help.”

The poster is the outcome of work done by the Care Council, made up of members from Kent School Services Network, Kent Career Tech Center, Kent Innovation High, MySchool@Kent, Kent Transition Center and the Kent ISD mental health liaison. The purpose: to provide a simple and easy way for students to get the help they need.

“So far we have had about seven students use the poster,” said KCTC Counselor Angela Pulera. “A Kent Innovation High and KCTC student said it was easy to use and it was very helpful for him to find his KCTC counselor.”

The posters went up about a week after the Aug. 24 school start. To access its resources, students scan one of three QR codes with their smartphone. The orange code is for academics and scheduling resources; pink is for personal needs such as food, clothing or housing; and green is for crisis needs such as feeling isolated, depressed or having thoughts of self-harm. 

When students scan the crisis code it connects them directly with a Kent ISD mental health liaison, who will immediately respond and provide support. The crisis code can also connect students to a KSSN therapist for additional support.

“I love the anonymity and safety aspect of this during COVID-19,” Kent Career Tech Center Principal Ryan Graham said of the poster, adding that he appreciated the creative use of technology in helping to provide students with social and emotional support.

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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma is a reporter covering Kent ISD, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville, Forest Hills and Comstock Park. The salutatorian for the Hartland Public Schools class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism. Joanne moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989, where she started her journalism career at the Advance Newspapers. She later became the editor for On-the-Town magazine, a local arts and entertainment publication. Her eldest daughter is a nurse, working in Holland, and her youngest attends Oakland University. Both are graduates from Byron Center High School. She is a volunteer for the Van Singel Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Kent District Library. In her free time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family, checking out local theater and keeping up with all the exchange students they have hosted through the years. Read Joanne's full bio


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