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Robert Down Elementary School Counseling Website

Welcome Otters!

Dear Robert Down Families,

Covid-19 continues to challenge so much in our lives. I hope this newsletter provides helpful information during this difficult time. I am providing services for students and families by utilizing our Google online platform and posting information for students in my Google Classroom. You can schedule an online session with me through this link:


Access my Google Classroom with this class code: sma5dh5

Here is a list of what you can find below:

1. Information for students and parents to support healthy discussions about the coronavirus.

2. Social-emotional learning library has book suggestions on various topics. Most notably is the New York City Library's free books for children on the coronavirus. Many of the other books listed can be found at our local library branch or purchased online.

3. Lists of resources for families experiencing grief and loss.

4. Resources for families on safety and technology.

I work at both Robert Down and Pacific Grove Middle Schools. Please email if you have questions about the school counseling program or set up an appointment through my online calendar.


Sonda Frudden, School Counselor

Coronavirus Resources to Support Families

The Great Realisation

Social Emotional Learning Library


Supporting Resilience Through Changing Times

Growth Mindset

Sesame Street do Growth Mindset

Learning to Love the Challenge

Books On Grief for Children

Websites On Grief's Top Ten Grief Websites

Acknowledgment of the profound effects of grief and loss isn’t enough, of course. More must be done to point grieving people toward resources that can help them cope and heal. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, only 10% of grieving people will ever seek professional help.

While is at its core a directory of therapists committed to treating issues such as grief and loss, it is also a comprehensive resource for people seeking mental health treatment and information. It is with that in mind that we selected the 10 best resources on the Internet in 2012— excluded—for people experiencing grief and loss. Among the criteria we used to select our top 10 websites are quality and depth of content, presentation, and functionality.

  • The Compassionate Friends: A nationwide nonprofit organization, The Compassionate Friends is designed to support and give resources to families who are coping with the death of a child. In addition to its wealth of information about healing grief, TCF holds national and regional conferences, facilitates online and in-person support groups for grieving families, and broadcasts a weekly web-radio series.
  • is a forum resource for people to connect with others and share stories of loss and healing. The forum has more than 45,000 active members and features topics ranging from terminal illness and sudden death to the loss of a pet.
  • MISS Foundation: The MISS Foundation is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that supports people of all ages through the process of grieving the death of a child. Among the offerings are discussion forums, educational resources, biannual conferences, and local support groups, and grieving visitors can connect with a HOPE (Helping Other Parents Endure) mentor for individualized support.
  • Recover From Grief: Recover From Grief provides valuable information about the grieving process as well as coping strategies. Site visitors can view a comprehensive “grief guidebook” and participate in a seven-part grief work e-course. Recover From Grief also provides a space to create memorials for loved ones or tell personal stories, and offers a “grief relief” audio program.
  • The Grief Toolbox: The Grief Toolbox is a comprehensive resource for people experiencing grief. Articles, other resources, and an online art gallery help support individuals in the grieving process. The Grief Toolbox also provides a support group locator.
  • National Alliance for Grieving Children: The National Alliance for Grieving Children is a nationwide platform that connects professionals, consumers, and volunteers whose mission is to support children and teens through the grieving process. NAGC offers online education, a searchable support group database, and hosts an annual symposium about child grief.
  • Navigating Grief: Navigating Grief is an online community established by Joan Hitchens, author of Storybooks for Healing and A Caregiver’s Blog. Hitchens is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHCPO). Navigating Grief provides educational tools and insight into the grieving process from Hitchens’ personal experiences as a hospice volunteer, widow, and caregiver. Site visitors can also find teleseminars, webinars, and blog posts by professionals to support grieving individuals.
  • Bereaved Parents of the USA: Bereaved Parents of the USA connects grieving parents with other bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings for one-on-one support. The site offers a newsletter, articles and poems, and many resources and links for grieving families to guide them through the grieving process. It also hosts an annual gathering where bereaved parents can share their stories with others and participate in grief workshops.
  • Losing Your Parents: Losing Your Parents is a personal blog by Lisa A. Snyder, who lost both of her parents by the age of 27. Snyder connects grieving children through blog posts, a free e-book titled The Last Words Ever Spoken, and many other online resources. Losing Your Parents also accepts guest posts for others to share stories of grief and healing.
  • FriendGrief: FriendGrief is a personal blog, operated by author Victoria Noe, specifically designed to support people who have lost friends. Noe writes extensively about the differences between losing a friend and a family member, and provides space for guest bloggers to share their experiences of mourning the loss of a friend.

Books On Kindness & Empathy

Books On Cliques

Social Skills

Local Community Mental Health Resources

Check out the links for a list of therapists in our local area:

For searchable lists of area therapists and specializations:

Sam's Guide to Monterey County Family Resources - provides a comprehensive list of area resources from Mental Health, Wellness, Caregiving, Food and Shelters

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Resources on Cybersafety & Technology

ConnectSafely: Promoting Safety, Privacy & Security

Common Sense Education Digital Citizenship Curriculum & EdTech Reviews


Caring Circles are counselor facilitated groups offered online. The Caring Circle groups are a core 'TOOLBOX' practice. These groups give students the opportunity to feel connected to their school community, to learn about how to build empathy for others, and to practice many of the Toolbox tools all at once.

Caring Circles will also be offered weekly online and outside on the Robert Down playgrounds.

'Let's Talk' online book group for students and families. Books will focus on inclusion, equality, diversity, social and emotional learning and building family and community engagement. This group will begin in September and take place monthly.

Articles that Inspire

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Robert Down Counseling Permission Slip