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Genesee Valley School Boards Association - Excellence in Student Services Award


Genesee Valley School Boards Association Announces 

2020 Excellence in Student Services Award to the 

Dansville Primary School “Primary Project”


The Genesee Valley School Boards Association announced that the Dansville Primary School “Primary Project” Program has been awarded the 2020 Excellence in Student Services distinction.  The GVSBA Excellence in Student Services Awards is presented to school district staff and or programs that demonstrate how schools support, connect and serve students and also show how schools are a vital connection in communities.




Primary Project is a national evidence-based program that helps children in Pre-K through 2nd  grade adjust to school, gain confidence, social skills, and focus on learning.  Through play, Primary Project addresses children’s school adjustment difficulties and increases their chances for success.


Begun in 1957, Primary Project is the foundational program of Children’s Institute. It has helped countless children since then and continues to grow throughout New York and the nation. It identifies young children who show emerging school adjustment difficulties and provides them with one-on-one time with a specially trained and supervised paraprofessional.



The goals of the Primary Project are:

  • Detect school adjustment difficulties early
  • Children develop a school-based, trusting relationship with an adult
  • Reduce social, emotional, and school adjustment difficulties
  • Enhance learning skills


Benefits of the Primary Project:

  • Reduces negative adjustment behaviors
  • Improves children's self-confidence, social skills, learning skills, and other school-related competencies
  • Allows school mental health professionals to focus on children who need more intensive interventions


How it works:

  • Early screening detects school adjustment difficulties
  • Children meet weekly with highly trained and supervised paraprofessionals (called child associates) in a playroom setting
  • The child sets the pace with the child associate supporting and reflecting on what the child says and does to reinforce and build on the child’s strengths
  • On-going consultation and program evaluation allows for continuous improvement


Took place: Dansville Primary School 2017- Present


Date & Duration: 2017-Present (under the direction of Sight Supervisor Dr. Megan Alger & Child Associates; 2017-2020: Julie Stoner, 2020-Present: Heather Barnhart)




Genesee Valley School Boards Association - Excellence in Student Services Award