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AWARE Ink Newsletter

AWARE Awarded Jeremy Bullock Memorial Trust Grant

AWARE was recently awarded a $3,000 grant from the Jeremy Bullock Memorial Trust. These funds will be used to jumpstart AWARE’s upcoming playground project at the Center for Excellence in Anaconda. Thank you to the Jeremy Bullock Memorial Trust for recognizing the importance of providing a playground that fosters growth, happiness and learning through play.

Located in Anaconda, Montana, the Lawrence P. Noonan Center for Excellence is a school for kids from across the state who require intensive mental health and school services. These kids would likely require out-of-state placement if our school did not exist. The Center for Excellence is an extension to AWARE’s youth residential program in Anaconda. It collaborates with the local school district to educate the students and AWARE’s day treatment services provide on-site therapy and group support.

The Center for Excellence’s building exterior provides a dramatic landmark for Anaconda’s entryway with rich architectural stonework and tasteful color finishes. The school tower and kite-like rooflines keep students and staff aspirations reaching for the sky. The school is filled with four classrooms, staff offices, a gymnasium and lunchroom. The Center for Excellence provides access to innovative technology such as Smart Boards, iPads, and laptops. Math, science, reading, social studies, health and wellness, and art are all part of each child’s curriculum.

Its grounds are landscaped with a picnic shelter, gardens, and a variety of areas to help kids be physically active and healthy. The only thing missing is a playground – a playground that fosters growth, happiness and learning through play.

Play is an important part of healthy growing and learning.

At AWARE’s Center for Excellence school teachers and mental health professionals work together to create the best environment for youth to learn and grow. What is the “best environment?” That is a great question with answers that extend past classrooms with Smart Board technology and highly trained teachers and mental health professionals.

The best environment for learning ensures all youth begin the school day with a healthy, nourishing breakfast. That each youth’s needs are considered and supported individually. We know no two children are alike!

In order to perform their best in the classroom, youth need opportunities to take a break, to run and play. At the Center for Excellence, these opportunities are scheduled into their day – recess and PE provide times for structured and unstructured activity.

Beyond the obvious impact, physical exercise allows youth to expend “extra energy,” outside, and active play is a critical and impactful intervention used to enhance both physical and mental health.

The playground project at the Center for Excellence is designed to be an inclusive playground, making it available to all abilities and ages of children as they come and go with AWARE’s care and services.

If you would like to learn more about how you can make a tax-deductible gift to support the playground project, please contact AWARE’s Director of Development & Marketing Brynn Molloy at , or you may donate online 24/7 at

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