Johnson High School

Trauma Informed Newsletter--April 2015 Edition

WELCOME BACK!!! APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS.... Summer is just around the corner!

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Did you know.... Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers free, confidential assessment, short-term counseling, referral, and follow up. Professional counselors are experienced in helping people identify and find solutions to personal issues such as:

Parent/Child Issues
Substance Abuse
Loss and Grief
Financial Concerns
Job Stress
Childcare or Eldercare
And Other Life Concerns

Sand Creek EAP is your program. It’s completely confidential, provided at no cost to you, and available to both you and your household family members. When you need help with personal concerns, they are available to help at no cost to you!


Phone: 888.243.5744
Fax: 651.430.9753
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Do you know of any students or personal family/friends that are experiencing Grief & Loss?

Camp Erin--Bereavement Camp for Children 6-17 (FREE)

Friday, July 24th, 12pm to Sunday, July 26th, 5pm

Willow River, MN, United States

Willow River, MN

Camp Erin–Twin Cities is an annual, no-cost, three-day bereavement camp for children ages 6-17, who have experienced the death of a family member or friend.

Camp Erin is the largest network of bereavement camps in the country and is available through a partnership between Fairview and The Moyer Foundation. In 2015, Camp Erin–Twin Cities is scheduled for July 24-26. First-time campers will be given priority. All past Camp Erin-Twin Cities participants will be automatically placed on a waiting list. You wisit the website by clicking the link attached to this event or you can call 952-892-2111 with questions or to request application materials be sent to you by mail.

Application Process:

You can download the application from our website at (on the Camp Erin page) or call 952-892-2111 for a mailed application. Once you have completed all the required forms, please email them to or mail to:

Fairview Ridges Hospital

Attn: Youth Grief Services

201 E. Nicollet Blvd.

Burnsville, MN 55337

Please note: Applications will only be processed when the following items are received:

1. Registration Form, including a recent photo

2. Medical Information & Medication Distribution

3. Social & Bereavement Information

4. Information about the person who died

5. Camp & Media Consent Form


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Johnson's Govies Goods & Groceries!

Hunger and poverty are two ways that children and their families may experience trauma in our very own East Side Community. One in five families with children in Minnesota faces hunger or food insecurity. This means that children do not always eat three square meals a day and sometimes skip meals. Much of this happens on the weekends and during summer vacation when there is no access to free or reduced school meals. During summer vacation, about 36,000 Minnesotan children per week eat lunch via the federally funded Summer Food Service Program. That represents only 15% of eligible children — leaving an estimated 250,000 kids at risk of missing lunch.

Johnson High School staff are helping end this epidemic by participating in a food shelf, right at our school, specifically for those students who are identified (by any staff member) as not having access to food on the weekends or during extended breaks. Many staff have already contributed to this effort by donating non-perishable food items or personal hygiene items. THANK YOU!! If you would like to donate, please bring items to Ms. Mukasa's room (2101) or Ms. Jagusch's room (2425) anytime.


Govies Goods & Groceries

Friday, April 10th, 1:45pm to Friday, June 5th, 2pm

Room 2425 (Social Work Office/Indian Education Room)

What is “Govies Goods & Groceries”?

“Govies Goods & Groceries” is a food shelf/supply drive specific for Johnson High School students and their families.

What can I do?

Bring in non-perishable food, dry food, or personal care items anytime of the week. Also, keep your ears and eyes open for students you know of or are aware of that may need extra support with food or personal hygiene products, particularly over the weekend or breaks. If you know of these students, fill out a referral form and send them to the food shelf/supply drive on Fridays at the designated time.

How do students get referred/hooked up with the program?

Teachers, administration, or support staff are able to refer students they believe could use extra food and/or supplies by filling out a referral form (forms will be distributed to mailboxes and electronically to all staff) and sending the student with the referral form to check in with Ms. Mukasa (Room 2101) or Ms. Jagusch (Room 2425).

Where do we bring donations?

Bring donations to 2101 (Ms. Mukasa’s Room) or 2425 (Ms. Jagusch’s office/Indian Ed office)

When do students get the food/supplies?

Students can pick up groceries and/or supplies every Friday afternoon at 1:45pm in Room 2425.

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What is Personal Empowerment???

Personal empowerment is about looking at who you are and becoming more aware of yourself as a unique individual.

Personal empowerment involves developing the confidence and strength to set realistic goals and fulfill your potential. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and a range of skills that are used in everyday situations, but all too often people remain unaware of, or undervalue, their true abilities.

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The use of language, how individuals express themselves verbally and non-verbally to others, can be empowering to both themselves and the people with whom they are communicating.

Use of Language for Personal Empowerment

In terms of personal empowerment and communication the following ideas are helpful and their use can be both self-affirming and positive:

  • Use Positive Language: Research into language suggests that a person's self-image is reflected in the words that they use. For example, people who say they 'should' behave in a certain way implies passivity and can detract from them seeming to be in control and taking responsibility for their actions. Talking about yourself in a positive way, acknowledging strengths and weaknesses, can be empowering.
  • Use Active Language: Use terms which imply positive action rather than making vague statements, particularly when talking about the future. For example, 'I will...' and 'I can...'.
  • Use Words to Define Your Own Space and Identity: If you fail to use words to define your own space and identity then others will tend to define you and set standards by which you evaluate yourself. Furthermore, they will try to persuade you to conform to their demands. Be clear about who you are and what your values and goals are – do not let others define you.

Use of Language for Empowering Others

  • Do not use jargon or complex terminology: The use of jargon and complex terminology can be both alienating and dis-empowering. When working with clients the use of jargon can create feelings of intimidation and inferiority. Without shared understanding of the words you use, effective and empowering communication cannot take place. Choose words with care, which give clarity to what you are trying to express.
  • Focus on the words people use: Mirror words people use. Using shared terminology appropriately can enable you appear more ‘in tune’ with the other person and what they are saying.
  • Choose positive words: Choosing positive or active words such as 'will' or 'can' indicates that you have control in your life and is more likely to induce positive action in others. Compare the use of these words with others such as ‘might' or 'maybe' which suggest hesitancy. Using words and statements which carry responsibility are empowering as they suggest a determined rather than a passive approach.
  • Avoid criticism and negativity: Criticism should always be given with extreme care and only when absolutely necessary. Once words have been spoken they cannot be easily taken back. If criticism is necessary then it can be given in a constructive way, through the use of positive and supporting words and phrases. Always attempt to cushion criticism with positive observations.
  • Use open questions when appropriate: The use of closed questions will restrict responses to 'yes' and 'no' answers. This type of question can leave people feeling powerless because there is no opportunity to explain their response. On the other hand, open questions give the person being asked the chance to explore the reasons behind their answers. Open questions encourage a person to take responsibility for their thoughts and actions and can therefore aid empowerment. Open questions can also help people to solve problems through their own devices, help them to set their own goals and work out an appropriate plan of action.

Developing Self-Empowerment

We all have opportunities to explore and develop new skills. In order to become more empowered we should, in our interactions with others, aim to:

  • Develop trust.
  • Understand our strengths, weaknesses and limits.
  • Develop confidence and self-esteem.