The path to recovery
By Guest Blogger on December 3rd, 2012
Windy Lopez, Scholastic’s Director of Community Affairs, is here to share some information about the signs of hope, resilience, and inspiration she sees every day as part of her job — but particularly now, as our region continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy. Read on for a lovely piece about how connecting with kids in times of need is so critical.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than a month since Hurricane Sandy hit our area. Many of us at Scholastic know firsthand, either through personal impact or friends, family and colleagues, that the road to recovery is just beginning. But over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been so inspired by the many teachers and community leaders that we’re working with to not only help replenish books and materials but also provide the critical social and emotional resources and support that we know are needed to help with the trauma of this type of crisis.
Following the storm, we responded with a book grant program for severely affected schools and provided important resources and information for teachers, families and students. This included tips from our partners and experts at the Yale Child Study Center on how to help children cope with disaster and stress. Among the advice, they remind us of the importance of taking the time to talk with children about how they are feeling as well as trying to turn difficult moments into opportunities to connect with and help others.
Also, in support of these messages and tips, we provided Scholastic My Time Kits, A Box for Comfort and Fun which was especially designed for children affected by disaster or crisis situations. The comfort kit includes a beautiful and inspirational book called Hope is an Open Heart as well as My Time Journal , a “make your own” book that helps prompt children to express their feelings through writing and drawing.
But, these materials are only paper and words unless we know they are actually reaching and making an impact on the children we all serve. That’s why we are so grateful and inspired when we get to hear and share what recovery and hope looks like.
Kristen Niven, a second grade teacher from PS/MS 43 Far Rockaway, Queens shared the following after receiving the My Time Kits:
“Despite the devastation and challenges that our school and community cannot thank you enough for your quick response to helping out our students. The My Time Kits arrived at our school today and the expressions on our students faces was amazing! Scholastic should be commended on organizing such a thoughtful and appropriate kit for our students. After reading Hope Is An Open Heart we engaged in such a meaningful conversation that our students really identified with one another during this transitional time. We consider ourselves so fortunate to have people like yourself involved in our education and empathizing with our situation. Thanks again and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Scholastic.”
SCO Family of Services also shared these photos of children and families receiving and enjoying My Time kits at two NYC Restore Centers (in Far Rockaway and Arverne, Queens) where SCO has a presence. SCO is also distributing the kits to foster families and children living in hard-hit communities.
Whether after a storm like Sandy or other life challenges and barriers that students and communities face, we know that many of you are making a difference each day to help foster resilience and hope.
Thank you for inspiring us! We hope you’ll keep sharing your stories with us.
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