a group of children sitting and talking in a group

Bardhoshi Receives $500,000 Grant for Project PEARLS


Gerta Bardhoshi, senior research fellow in the Social and Education Policy Research Program, received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to create mental health training for K-12 students and staff in Iowa City, titled Project PEARLS. Bardhoshi is collaborating with Ebonee Johnson, assistant professor of community health and behavioral health in the College of Public Health, and Kari Vogelgesang, clinical associate professor in the College of Education.

Project PEARLS stands for Prepare, Assess, Respond, Link, and Sustain, which are the objectives of the project. It would serve as a curriculum targeted toward education and mental health stakeholders in the Iowa City community. The curriculum is an estimated 15 hours of training, which includes in-person and virtual deliveries through modules, discussions, and reflections.

Bardhoshi says the pilot for Project PEARLS will start in April for the Iowa City Community School District's employees and leaders. The professors have gone to various schools to give a teaser of the curriculum and have hosted a conference for educators across the state.

Read more about the project in this feature by The Daily Iowan.