Champaign Unit 4 School District and the City of Champaign have launched the Leading Individuals and Families to Transformation program, also known as LIFT.
LIFT will focus on African American students and families who are experiencing academic and personal challenges. The program provides trauma-informed care through intensive support from both school-based and community resources.
Anthony Sullers, Jr. is the lead evaluator for LIFT with the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Illinois.
He said the program is built to address the lack of support for African American students and families.
Sullers said the need for more support programs like LIFT is apparent.
“We’ll just need to use more time to figure out how we can effectively use those resources and use that information in the evaluation to effectively fight for more funding, so we can support more students,” said Sullers
Sullers said he hopes that each student is able to gain a true sense of support not only in academics but also in real life.
“I, myself, have experienced these types of programs. So in that essence, the fact that the program exists is definitely going to touch lives,” Sullers said. “We just hope that it is done in a way that reaches all and has the capacity to reach more.”