ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida wants to use the inspiring stories of professional athletes to empower students across the state.
Speaking at the Amway Center in Orlando on Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis and first lady Casey DeSantis announced a new "Resiliency Florida" curriculum that will soon be available for all schools in the Sunshine State.
The program will use prominent Florida athletes and sports teams to motivate and encourage students to succeed.
"We are changing the narrative on mental health and reframing it to resiliency and hope," Casey DeSantis said. "We want to empower our youth with the tools and the skill sets to be resilient by learning how to persevere through life's challenges."
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The "Resiliency Florida" curriculum will teach students the fundamentals of how to be resilient, problem solving, critical thinking, empathy, respect, responsibility, physical activity, and volunteerism.
The Florida Department of Education is partnering with major sports teams like the Orlando Magic, Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and more.
Through a series of online-based lessons on the CPALMS website, professional athletes and coaches will share their stories of perseverance and overcoming obstacles.
"We believe they can empower and inspire kids throughout the state, and more importantly, give them hope," Casey DeSantis said. "The athletes are gonna be on the front lines communicating this message of resiliency and hope directly to Florida's children."
This is the latest measure from the state to improve mental health services for Florida students.
The Florida Legislature approved $100 million dollars to put more counselors and mental health professionals in schools.
In addition, all schools are now required to have at least five hours of mental health instruction each academic year for grades 6-12.