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Fort Smith Public Schools receive wellness center grant, soon to rename Albert Pike elementary

The center will serve students, staff and families at Darby Junior High and Tilles Elementary School.

FORT SMITH, Ark — With the help of a $500,000 grant, Fort Smith Public Schools will open a school-based wellness center at Darby Junior High. 

Superintendent Dr. Doug Brubaker announced the center during his annual public report at the FSPS school board’s regular meeting Monday (Sept. 28).

“This was an area that was a focus in Vision 2023 that has been a growing need in our community. We did recently receive a $500,000 school-based health center grant for a school-based health center opening at Darby by the end of this year,” Brubaker said.

The program grant is from a state coalition of several groups for physical and mental health education, according to Zena Featherston Marshall, executive director of communications and community partnerships for the school district. 

The center received $150,000 awarded by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the first year, which is funded from proceeds of the tobacco lawsuit “from years ago,” Brubaker said.

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