Caring Team for Grieving Students
The Caring Team for Grieving Students helps schools provide support to grieving children within the school setting.
The Caring Team for Grieving Students is:
1. A partnership
The school and the Highmark Caring Place work together to equip the school to be a resource to:
- Students who are grieving
- Friends and peers of grieving students
- School staff and administration
2. A focus on kids helping kids
With guidance from a school staff person, students plan, organize and implement activities to help other students in their school learn:
- What it means to be grieving
- How they can reach out to and support their peers and friends who are grieving
- How they can support other grieving children and teens outside of their school on a large scale in their town, across the state and across the nation
3. A fun and educational way to approach a difficult subject
Caring Team for Grieving Children schools explore ways to help students talk about grief their own or the grief of someone close to them in ways that are not scary.
Although grief itself is not "fun," there are ways that helping their fellow students can be very meaningful and often entertaining and even fun for students and the whole school.
How do I make my school culture more sensitive to grieving children?
Learn more about grieving children:
- Tours* Caring Team coordinators, school staff and school administrators are welcome to tour the Caring Place to learn more about the impact of death on children as well as how the Caring Place is a resource that can help.
- Training Caring Place staff members are available to schools for more in-depth training about the grief of children and its specific impact in the school environment or for presentations about the Caring Place.
- Consultation Caring Place staff members are available to consult with school staff about situations in your school involving a grieving student.
- School Meetings School meetings (e.g., in-service, PTA meetings or Act 80 days) can be held at no cost in the large meeting space at the Caring Place. In exchange for the meeting space, the Caring Place requests time on the meeting agenda to provide information about the programs we provide. (Note: Breakfast or lunch may be able to be provided for these meetings.)
- Caring Team Summit Caring Team coordinators along with specially selected students are invited each year to attend the annual Caring Team Summit held in the fall. At this summit, students and school staff have the opportunity to tour the Caring Place facility, learn more about how grief affects children and learn more about how the Caring Place can help.
*Note about tours: All tours of the Highmark Caring Place have to be scheduled and coordinated ahead of time. We receive many requests and make every attempt to accommodate them all. However, in order to increase your chances of attending within your desired timeframe, we ask that you plan at least 6–8 weeks in advance for your school's tour.
Provide opportunities for students to learn more about grief
- *Tours Students can come to one of our facilities to learn:
- More about the Caring Place
- More about what grief is like
- How they can help their friends or peers who are grieving
- Reports and Interviews Students and/or Caring Team coordinators can report on their participation in the Caring Team. High school students also can interview a Caring Team staff member or school faculty member on morning television announcements.
- News Students can write an article for their school newspaper about what they learned on their tour of the Caring Place, or about a Caring Team related activity or event.
- Posters Posters created by the Caring Place about how to help a grieving friend are provided to schools at no cost. The posters can be hung in school hallways, offices, guidance offices, classrooms or at any Caring Team event. Contact your School Services Coordinator for information on receiving these posters.
- Children's Grief Awareness Day Participate in Children's Grief Awareness Day.
- Caring Team Summit Caring Team coordinators along with specially selected students are invited each year to attend the annual Caring Team Summit held in the fall. At this summit, students and school staff have the opportunity to tour the Caring Place facility, to learn more about how grief affects children and to learn more about how the Caring Place can help.
Be a resource to grieving students and their families
- Brochures Have information about the Caring Place on hand to distribute to students and their families as needed.
- Website Link the Highmark Caring Place logo and URL to the websites of your school and school district. For more information on how to do this, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Information Keep copies of educational information at school that you can recommend to families in need (the Highmark Caring Place can provide many educational brochures for grieving families as well as a list of recommended books and articles).
- Support groups Partner with the Highmark Caring Place to learn how to provide grief support groups in your school (available on a limited basis).