As an integral part of a child’s life, schools are sometimes called upon to meet a student’s emotional needs along with their academic needs. When loss occurs within a school community, teachers and staff naturally want to support their students…but it’s also important to remember that grief can impact teachers and staff themselves. Between the crucial role they play in giving support, and the effect on their own emotions, it’s imperative that school staff have the tools necessary to cope with loss. Harbor Lights Foundation is dedicated to meeting the needs of schools through consultation, presentations and interactive workshops, providing education on how to instill a supportive environment around loss while coping with it on a personal level. We recognize that no two situations are exactly the same, so we strive to make our collaboration with schools as flexible as possible.
Grief and Loss in the Classroom: Our workshops aim to provide education around grief and loss, and to offer tools on how best to support children and families. Topics include age appropriate language and information, coping skills, classroom intervention, peer support, and coordinating social and emotional care across a child’s support network. Workshops can be abridged for inclusion at faculty meetings or lengthened to half- or full-day sessions.
It may sound strange to think about grief proactively. Yet, understanding what happens when humans experience a loss can ease fear and promote coping. Harbor Lights Foundation is in the process of developing a curriculum that can be incorporated into a health or science class to offer education and support around grief. These age-specific modules (geared toward either elementary, tweens, or teens) can be used by teachers preemptively as a stand alone unit or following a loss in the school community. Harbor Lights staff is also able to come in as guest speakers to present these one day curriculum.
School Outreach & Consulting
While our school-focused workshops are a great way for teachers and school staff to gain many of the tools necessary to support a child through illness and grief, we understand that specific situations call for additional support. The Harbor Lights Foundation is available to provide in-school consulting and collaboration, including:
- On-site grief counseling during a time of crisis
- Consultation with administration around a specific loss to the school community (this might be a student, parent or teacher)
- A small group session for a team of teachers most impacted by a current situation
- Limited time on-site support groups for children, families or faculty
- On-site education for families or school community
Please contact us for more information on how we at Harbor Lights Foundation can work with your school.