FORWARD Program News


Dealing with Stress and Trauma this Holiday Season

For many people, the "most wonderful time of the year" is also a very stressful time of the year. No matter how you celebrate, the holiday season is often very demanding - we are cooking meals, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining. For some, the holidays can also be a reminder of loss and other traumas that have impacted us. Adults and children alike may find some holiday experiences retraumatizing.

When we experience stress, we become dysregulated, which makes it difficult for us to think clearly and logically, have positive interactions with others, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips for anyone dealing with stress this holiday season:

  1. Acknowledge and validate your feelings.
  2. Reach out for support - talk to colleagues, family, friends or a professional counselor.
  3. Be realistic and set healthy boundaries for yourself. It's OK to say no!
  4. Don't abandon healthy habits, like getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and eating balanced meals.
  5. Take a break! For strategies to help you or your student "chill out", check out some of the resources below.
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5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Exercise

Grounding is a mindfulness technique that helps us focus on the moment. It brings us back to reality when our thoughts start racing and we begin to feel stress or anxiety. This eases our minds so that we can think clearly, and calm our thoughts, feelings and bodies. Start by taking some slow, deep breaths, then count:
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Mindful Melting

Take four minutes to practice this Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise to help you cool down when you feel stressed!
Melting Exercise - Learn To Destress | Guided Meditiation For Kids | Breathing Exercises | GoNoodle

AMJHS Expresses Gratitude in Door-Decorating Contest

The Counseling Center at Aaron Mossell Junior High School sponsored a door decorating contest throughout the month of November. The theme of the contest was the "Attitude of Gratitude". Homerooms worked together to create their displays. The top three celebrated with breakfast for their hard work and creativity.

From the Lion's Den

Ms. Borek, at Anna Merritt, created paper "Gratitude Jars" with her students to celebrate all the things they are thankful for! Each jar is actually a pocket, where students can keep written reminders of all the things that bring them joy.

At Charles Upson, Mrs. Connolly led a lesson about all the things we feel during the holidays. Mr. Baumgartner’s class created a Thanksgiving feast of their emotions! The students discussed being grateful, joyful, happy, thoughtful, sleepy and content. Some students even expressed the emotion of excitement because Thanksgiving is right before Christmas!

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  • Nicole Weaver, Multidisciplinary Mental Health Coordinator, is located at Lockport High School and works with grades K-12. She can be reached at or via phone at (716) 478-4423.
  • Heather Scharping, Behavioral Health Coordinator, is located at Aaron Mossell Junior High School and works with grades 7-12. She can be reached at or via phone at 478-4700.
  • Laura Feind, Behavioral Health Coordinator, is located at Charles Upson Elementary School and works with grades K-6. She can be reached at or via phone at 478-4412.
Peachjar & Community Organizations

LCSD works with community organizations to make information about activities and enrichment opportunities available to families. We cooperate with approved community partners by posting eflyers online and distributing them electronically.

Grants and District / Community Programs

Pride in our Past...Faith in our Future

Holly Dickinson, Director