Partnering with Public Schools
Since 2009 Rick’s Place has been partnering with area public schools to provide free bereavement support to students from elementary through high school because not all students are able to attend our on-site peer support groups. Our six-week school program does not have an adult caregiver component, but like our on-site programming, we offer grieving students opportunity to explore and express their grief through a variety of outlets.
Improving Grief Experiences for Children
Research has shown that unexamined grief in children can lead to negative outcomes including: poor school performance, truancy, behavioral problems, anxiety, relationship difficulties, depression, addiction issues, and an increased risk of suicide. As with our on-site programming, in our school peer support groups, we create safe environments in which students can express their grief, thus significantly reducing the possibility of negative outcomes from unaddressed grief.
Rick’s Place provides the trained staff, curriculum and materials while school personnel select students and secure private meeting spaces. School groups consist of at least six students, and no more than twelve. Rick’s Place also provides professional development workshops on the impact of grief on students to school staff.
We also offer reading programs in area schools. Group facilitators from Rick’s Place share a book and activity with individual grades in schools to initiate a gentle conversation about death, dying, and grief. School guidance counselors report that our use of literature as an effective tool to introduce children to these difficult topics and our fostering conversation about loss and death has long lasting positive impacts.
No Charge for Services
When grant funding is available, there is no charge for our services. We rely on the generosity of individuals, the community and foundations through gifts, grants and special events to make groups happen.