Farmingtoh Hills, MI and Manassas, VA -- August 12, 2021. With the kickoff of the 2021-2022 school year, Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) in northern Virginia is making student mental health a priority as it eases back into in-person classroom settings. The district has partnered with Gale, a Cengage company to help expand its social emotional learning (SEL) awareness program with the purchase of Cameron's Collection and Cameron's Camp for Wellness on the Gale eBooks platform. These new digital resources help students better understand their mental health and provide guidance to strengthen their SEL skills, enabling MCPS to further support student well-being.
MCPS' investment in Cameron's Collection and Cameron's Camp for Wellness is part of the district's initiative to use innovative approaches to promote positive student mental health and wellness. Both collections are a starting point for dialogue and behavior modifications for students who are experiencing mental health challenges or working to improve their overall wellness concerns. They also are a supportive tool that educators and parents can leverage to help students who are struggling. The collections add to SEL programs the district has previously implemented and support its mission to provide a safe and innovative learning environment that inspires, engages and challenges all students.
Nearly 8,000 students across the district's nine schools can privately and anonymously access the digital collections from the MCPS website, 24/7 from any location or device. School staff, including counselors, can also access the resources to assist students and their family members.
"We're meeting the needs of our students by letting them know they are not alone," said Dr. Eric Brent, Executive Director of Student Services at MCPS. "Cameron's Collection and Cameron's Camp for Wellness help us reach our students and faculty in an innovative way that is private and easy-to-use to help them seek the information they need to support their mental well-being. It's our hope that students will be comfortable using these materials when they may not know where else to turn for support."
MCPS' Gale eBooks collections include:
- Cameron's Collection: One out of five teens suffer from mental health challenges—and more than 75% don't seek help at all [i]. Helping middle and high school students cope with everyday stressors and stay in the present moment are at the core of this collection. More than 100 digital titles span a wide range of topics including: ADD, ADHD, alcohol, anorexia, anxiety, bulimia, caregiving, cutting, depression, divorce, drugs, eating disorders, homelessness, OCD, self-injury, stress, suicide, mindfulness practices, goal setting and community involvement. Created in partnership with the Cameron K. Gallagher (CKG) Foundation, this collection aims to inspire students to make their mental health and wellness a priority.
- Cameron's Camp for Wellness: More than 100 eBooks provide targeted guidance on sensitive issues for K–5 students, teachers, and counselors with topics on managing emotions, teamwork, problem-solving, family issues, staying positive, being safe, and much more. The core foundation of this collection is helping students recognize and manage emotions, social skills, and safety.
Both collections were created in honor of Cameron Gallagher, a bright and talented young girl battling depression and anxiety whose dream was to raise awareness and prevent the unnecessary suffering from stigma. At the age of 16, she suddenly passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition after crossing the finish line of a half marathon, a goal she set which helped her cope. Gale, in collaboration with the CKG Foundation, created Cameron's Collection to ensure schools are equipped with educational and support-building resources to help struggling teens and end mental health stigma.
"We're excited to work together with MCPS," said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. "After a mix of remote and in-person learning, it's important students know they're not alone and can ask questions. Both collections help spark that dialogue that's so important to support student well-being."
For more information, visit Gale's SEL webpage.
About Cengage and Gale
Cengage, an education technology company serving millions of learners in 165 countries, advances the way students learn through quality, digital experiences. The company currently serves the K-12, higher education, professional, library, English language teaching and workforce training markets worldwide. Gale, a Cengage company, believes in the power and joy of learning. For schools, the company helps drive positive outcomes by providing essential, curriculum-aligned content that empowers educators to solve curriculum challenges and meet students where they are. Today, that includes supporting distance and social and emotional learning as well as equity and inclusion goals. Gale's K-12 offerings extend from educational databases and custom eBook collections to instructional tools and professional development resources. For more information, please visit: www.gale.com/schools.