Helping Children and Families Cope with Tragedy
The resources below are intended to provide support to educators who play an essential role in helping children and families cope with tragedy: be it death, school violence, or natural disaster.
Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown
In the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Bank Street College would like to help teachers and school leaders work effectively to help children and families cope with this tragedy by providing several educational resources.
- Bank Street College faculty member, Mayra Bloom, shares An Emergency Song Kit for Children that she compiled.
- Bank Street College faculty members Valentine Burr and Pamela Jones with Buffy Smith and Anne Santa share their thoughts in their Responding to the Newtown Tragedy blog post.
- Bank Street College School for Children School Psychologist, Anne Santa, shares her thoughts with Time for Kids.
- Bold Nebraska posts a Resource for Parents and Educators: Tragedy in CT.
- Connecticut Asssociation for Infant Mental Health (CT-AIMH) has resources to those of you working with families in the Newtown area who have very young children.
- Child Mind.org has several articles such as The Teacher's Role When Tragedy Strikes, Caring for Kids After a School Shooting, The Connecticut School Shooting: How to Help Children Cope With Frightening News and Going Back to School After a Tragedy to help you speak to children about these types of tragedy. Dr. Harold Koplewicz describes some ways to insure that more kids who are struggling with mental illness get help. Please also watch this video linking the struggles of parents and the work of scientists.
- Unspeakable Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is part of David Markus's Blog in Edutopia.
- Talking to Children About Violence and Other Sensitive and Complex Issues in the World was compiled by Educators for Social Responsibility after 9/11.
- James Madison University produced articles for educators and parents and also gives general suggestions on how one can help in addressing the needs of students, children, and families after the shooting.
- NAEYC has also compiled an annotated list of resources for Coping with a School Shooting.
- This article from the National Association of School Psychologists and others such as A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope Tips for Parents and Teachers may be useful. This version is in Spanish.
- The New York Times posted 10 Ways to Talk to Students About Sensitive Issues in the News
- Ready.gov published Listen, Protect and Connect: Psychological First Aid for Teachers and Schools.
- Visit Teaching Tolerance's Helping Students Navigate a Violent World blog. You can find more resources and information about teaching tolerance on their website.
- Self Esteem Shop has books about violence.
- Dealing with Tragedy: Tips and Resources for Teachers and Parents was created by Thirteen Online Education.
After school resumed for most in the New Jersey and New York areas, and beyond, Bank Street College thought about the needs of children, families and teachers during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The Northeast coast and inland from Virginia to Massachusetts were impacted to varying degrees. As residents of New York City, we are acutely aware of the fact that while some suffered incredible devastation, for others the storm had relatively little impact beyond a few extra days at home. As children returned to school, they brought a range of experiences related to the impact of Hurricane Sandy. While the children may have welcomed the return to the familiar routines of the classroom, teachers needed to make room for the emotional reactions that are likely to be a result of the storm. These guidelines and other resources below may be helpful for classrooms discussions.
- In the Bank Street blog, Fair is Not Equal, Bank Street College Faculty Members Valentine Burr and Pamela Jones remark on the resources availabe to teachers during this difficult time.
- A cadre of Bank Street Child Life students, alumni, and colleagues joined hands with art therapists on Sunday, November 4, 2012, to answer a request for help by a US Navy mental health team deployed at a New York City shelter set up to serve families displaced by Hurricane Sandy.
- On the first full day back to school after Hurricane Sandy, Bank Street School for Children 5/6s (Kindergarten) made sense of the hurricane experience by building “safe spaces,” in the block area
- Bankstreet Bookstore has also created a forum for people to talk to share their thoughts and feelings.
- This little video is specific to a certain school, but it gives a great message and tells children what they need to hear during a scary time. This play therapist lost her office and many of her toys during the storm.
- This link is a printable book for young children, that they can color, about a hurricane.
- Bank Street's Library has been featured in the School Library Journal's online coverage of Hurricane Sandy's impact on schools!