Grow and Thrive

RESOURCES AND IDEAS FROM YOUR SCHOOL COUNSELOR

May 8, 2020

A Word About Resilience

I know that many of you may be thinking about how your child will be changed or impacted long-term by our current circumstances. It's normal to think or worry about this. As we learn, grow, and "do life" we are changed in subtle and significant ways. But it's important to remember that even challenging or sad experiences can help people build resilience, a very important human quality.


Simply defined, resilience is how well a person can adapt to events, even difficult ones, in their life. People with higher levels of resilience tend to bounce back more quickly from challenging situations and with less stress than someone whose resilience is less developed.


Resilience is learned. Children learn it by observing how the adults in their life cope with adversity. They learn resilience through failure, as long as they continue to try. And they learn resilience by taking risks, problem solving on their own, and making mistakes. Children learn resilience when they go through tough experiences with adult support and love, and learn that they can get though it. So, the silver lining to our situation might be that our children build a ton of resilience during this time. The knowledge that they are strong and can bounce back from stress and adversity is pretty powerful. These skills and attitudes will last them their entire lives.


So when you're feeing worried, I hope you'll remember that even during hardship, we are all growing and learning in ways that make us stronger. This quote from Fred Rogers (from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood) is one of my favorites:


At many times throughout their lives, children will feel like the world has turned topsy-turvy. It’s not the ever-present smile that will help them feel secure. It’s knowing that love can hold

many feelings, including sadness, and that they can count on the people they love to be with them until the world turns right side up again.” -Fred Rogers

Please feel free to contact me anytime.

fitch@gresham.k12.or.us

Kelly Creek: 503-663-7483

Hollydale: 503-661-6226

De-Stress With Art Journaling!

A creative way to wind down and destress is to engage in art journaling. Adults and kids alike find that combining writing with drawing can be a fun and creative way to express emotions, such as stress and worry. Your child can use anything as a journal -- a spiral notebook, stapled sheets of printer paper, or a sketchbook. Encourage your child to create their own cover and use the pages inside to express their thoughts and feelings through any kind of art. Some kids will need a prompt in order to get started. Here are some prompts you can use for a week's work of art journaling.



  • Monday: "I Am" Collage. Cut words and pictures from magazines to represent who your are in a collage.
  • Tuesday: Draw Your 5 Favorite Things. This could include food, pets, movies, places, people or things. At the bottom of the page write and finish this sentence "These things are my favorites because they make me feel ...."
  • Wednesday: A Page About Who You Love. Draw a picture frame around the outside of the page. Use symbols in the frame that represent love. On the inside, draw a picture of people in your life who you love.
  • Thursday: Worry and Stress. If worry and stress was a living creature, what would it look like? What color would it be? Draw a picture of your own worry creature. At the bottom of the page, write a few sentences about your creature. What does it worry about? Why did you draw it the way you did?
  • Friday: Gripes and Gratitude. On one page write the word Gripes at the top. On the next, write the word Gratitude. Make a border pattern around the outside of each page using a color that represents the word Gripes and a color that represents Gratitude. List or draw 5 gripes and 5 things you are grateful for.

More Fun Resources To Keep Kids Engaged

NEW! Program Provides Cash Benefit for Families Qualifying for Free and Reduced Lunches

Oregon approved a new program earlier this week that is designed to help families with school children who qualify for free or reduced school lunches. The program is called the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program. Households with children who are eligible will receive cash benefits for the meals they would have received at school even if they have been accessing meals from schools during the closure. The benefit is equivalent to one free lunch and breakfast for each eligible child – $5.70 per normal school day for the months of March, April, May and June.


Eligible SNAP households will have their March, April and May benefits automatically deposited to their existing EBT accounts in late May. Students who get free or reduced-price school meals but do not receive SNAP benefits will automatically receive an Oregon Trail Card in the mail.


Families who are not currently signed up for free and reduced lunch, but who have experienced significant income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic and may now be eligible, can apply online here. If the family qualifies for free and reduced lunch, they will also receive the new benefit through an Oregon Trail card in the mail. The funds provided through the Pandemic EBT are available to eligible households regardless of their immigration status.


Benefits will be retroactive to March 16 for students who received free and reduced-price meals when schools closed. For newly eligible free or reduced-price meals or SNAP households, benefits will start at the beginning of the month they became eligible. Eligible families will receive the following for each child: $69 for March, $126 for April, $120 in May, $69 in June.

Resources

Please be sure to check out our comprehensive resource page. You'll find food, utility, rent, and unemployment information, as well as information about county medical clinics and educational resources. Click here to visit the Resource Page.