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Originally posted July 9, 2012
The Union Alternative Safe Team was named Safe Team of the Month by the Tulsa Mental Health Association. The team was organized by Monroe Alexander, pictured fourth from the right. See earlier story.
Monroe Alexander, a school-based social worker, won the Innovative Project award - for his work at Union Public Schools - during a school-based service conference sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services last month.
Alexander won the award for his work at Union during the past year on defining what the role of a school-based social worker or specialist could be, starting outreach projects, a “Shop Healthy” program, a Safe Team and more.
“Since we have never previously has school-based service workers in Union, Monroe has helped to define his role in the school by determining what needs exist and what resources he can bring to bear to seek solutions,” Alternative Principal Richard Storm said.
Based at the Alternative School, Alexander has worked at each Union school site and has made a positive impact on the lives of students and established systems for future needs. Storm said Alexander’s impact was so profound that Union decided to work two more school-based specialists. He is a contracted employee for DHS and Union pays for a portion of his salary.
Alexander worked with the Tulsa Mental Health Agency to create a Safe Team at the alternative school in which a team of students can express concerns about issues in a safe environment to him and in turn he can provide classes or information on how to deal with that issue. “Through his association with this organization,” Storm said, “Monroe was able to arrange for weekly guest speakers who conducted ‘Healthy Relations” group sessions with at-risk students.”
Alexander also worked with Tulsa County Health Department to present a program on HIV, STDs, teen pregnancy and related topics, and started a “Teen Talk” program at the 6th/7th Grade Center in which older students counseled younger students on the need to delay childbirth.
He worked with Reasors Fine Foods to start a “Shop Healthy” program in which homeless students and students whose families are on food stamps learned how to review the food they buy and buy the most cost=-effective, nutritious food they can. He followed this program u with cooking classes, teaching students how to make meals with the food they purchases. Reasors provided much of the food for this program.