Providing a safe space where amazing things can happen. I am one of two counselors in a growing and diverse middle school of 800 students in Wasilla, AK. Over 40% of our students receive free and reduced lunch, many come from single family homes, have a parent that has been, or is, incarcerated or has experienced some kind of trauma within their short lives, which research shows approximately 25% of
American children will experience by the age of 16.
Schools are a major system of support for kids who have experienced trauma and middle school can be a very difficult as it is a time when kids seek out their own identity and is a time of rapid growth which can produce a lot of insecurity and fear.
With the help of Donors Choose we are developing a secondary counseling location where students can go away from prying eyes to have support from a caring adult or peers having the same life experiences.
Mental health awareness is an important conversation to have and having the right space and resources will make all the difference.
Students spend almost eight hours a day, 180 days a year in school.
This space will be developed with comfortable and affordable furniture.
Middle school students deal with self-esteem, body image, gender identity, divorce, grief, parental incarceration, conflict with friends, mental health, on top of academic rigor and social emotional changes. Instead of a sterile office environment we are providing a welcoming and warm space to meet with students in a one on one situation or as a group.
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