Extended Family for Kids (EFK) is a 9-lesson, evidence-based curriculum for children of the incarcerated.  In EFK, students learn how to make good choices, despite the fact that their loved one made choices resulting in incarceration.  EFK provides instruction for physical, mental, emotional, and moral development.  EFK lessons teach important life skills including stress reduction, expressing anger appropriately, and creating positive relationships with family, friends, teachers, and law enforcement.

Etowah County Board of Education Superintendent Alan Cosby, Ed.D. is a long-time supporter of Extended Family and our programs.  He recently addressed the need for EFK in Etowah County, “As a nation we are in a mental health crisis, and our children of all ages are facing challenges they are not equipped to handle.  It is our responsibility as educators to be vigilant of these struggles and find resources to help each child.  We know that as a system that children can’t learn to their fullest potential if they are not okay mentally and emotionally.  Many of our children experience disruptions in their home environments due to family addictions.  These addictions often result in criminal activities and incarceration leaving the child behind trying to make sense of a new life.  When learning about EFK many years ago and how this program specifically works with children and youth affected by this type of trauma, I knew this was a program I wanted to incorporate in my district.”

Extended Family has been privileged to offer EFK in Etowah County to Hokes Bluff Elementary and has long dreamed of having the resources to do more, and now we have that opportunity!  Funding for Extended Family for Kids in Etowah County Schools is made possible by a grant from the Stringfellow Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama.  With this grant, Extended Family will be able to lead EFK groups in six Etowah County Schools beginning this fall.

Dr. Cosby is optimistic about the effect EFK will have on Etowah County students, “I strongly believe if we connect and pour into our students specific resources tailored to their needs, they will see their worthiness and feel a sense of belonging, which, in turn, will increase their academic and school performance.”

Extended Family is excited to expand our EFK program for children in Etowah County and strengthen our partnership with the Etowah County Board of Education through this grant.  Together, we are offering help and inspiring hope, one child at a time!

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