Recovery resources in the wake of hurricane Sandy
By Megan on November 13th, 2012
Here at Scholastic, the aftermath of hurricane Sandy is still very much on our minds. We all have heard stories from family members and friends who have lost homes, businesses, and countless personal belongings. Just yesterday I spoke with someone whose family home at the Jersey Shore has been reduced to a pile of sand. Even some of our colleagues here at Scholastic have endured significant loss. And while many people are lamenting the loss of material goods (and rightly so), there are adults and children who have experienced the death or injury of a loved on, or are suffering from the trauma of nearly escaping flooding or destruction.
There are also children who have heard the same stories we have and are subsequently confused, upset, or frightened by what they hear. We also know that teachers and parents affected by hurricane Sandy now have to teach and comfort others, despite sustaining an emotional loss themselves. This is a fragile time for everyone, which is why we’ve culled together resources for parents, teachers, and kids that will help work towards recovery. We hope you find them useful and comforting, and that you’re moving forward in your own life.
Here are a few examples of the resources we’ve collected, which can also be found on our Storm Recovery Resources hub.
The Yale Child Study Center has generously shared 10 tips on how to communicate with kids and adults in times of trauma. They suggest developing routines and traditions children can count on, and recommend finding—and embracing— moments of normalcy whenever possible. Similarly, in an interview with NPR on explaining the storm to young ones, Scholastic editor Suzanne McCabe recommends presenting information to kids in a way that is age-appropriate, honest, and reassuring, not sugar-coated.
When hurricane Sandy hit, Kids Reporters from Scholastic’s Kids Press Corps hit the streets to cover the stories and news from the week. As with all the subjects they report on, the stories from hurricane Sandy are told by kids, for kids. From power outages in Connecticut to flooding in lower Manhattan, their posts on the Kids Press blog can offer kids an age-appropriate retelling for kids and teens.
And for some, it helps to work out anxiety or sandess through writing or drawing. The My Time Journal is a make-your-own book that invites kids to express and articulate their feelings through art and journaling.
Another place to find comfort is in a book. Here’s a full list of calming suggestions, recommended by our Chief Academic Officer and former teacher, Francie Alexander.
There are many resources available that focus on preparing students for situations like hurricanes and disasters, and while they are unfortunate to have to think about, they’re necessary and enormously helpful. The UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools has an extensive list of resources for schools, such as checklists, emergency plans, hurricane toolkits, materials for preventing violence and bullying, and guidance on how to communicate a loss to parents and kids.
And finally, if your school or library is in the tri-state area and has sustained significant damage, we want to help you work to rebuild your book collection. Scholastic is donating up to one million books to schools and libraries in the hardest-hit areas.
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the storm, and we hope these resources can help facilitate recovery and rebuilding in your community.
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