Connecting with Mrs. Cohen

January 17, 2021

Good Evening,

I hope you are all warm and well this evening as you read this.

Tomorrow we have a day off to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I usually attend a wonderful program at KHS on this day full of songs, dancing, poetry and remembrance. This is not an option for tomorrow, however, there are still ways to honor Dr. King shared below.

In this week's update, I also want to provide some helpful information about how to talk to your child about current events. Included are some media exposure guidelines from Common Sense Media which may be extra helpful at this time.

Please reach out to any of us on the Counseling Team at Robinson if we can be of help. We are doing our very best to keep up with the volume of emails and calls we are receiving at this very busy time. Our team goal is to return calls and answer emails within 48 hours.

Our contact information can be found at the end of this update.

Take care and be well,


Some Ways to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1 A Birthday Dinner!

Celebrate Dr. King's life and work with a Birthday dinner for him.

You can teach your children about his important work over dinner and some birthday cake!

2 Do something that supports Dr. King’s work. Dr. King dreamed of a communtiy that honored all members, no matter what. What can you do to honor and serve others in our communiity? Here is a list of 20-21 service events (if it is safe for you to attend):

UMSL MLK Day of Service 2021 Events
2021 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Celebration: Inspired by a Movement
Missouri Historical Society MLK Celebration Events
Coat Drive for One Warm Coat- St. Louis

3 Read his work outloud as a family. His famous “I Have a Dream” speech can be found at this link.

4 Create something! Write a poem, draw or paint a picture, or make a song about what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. means to you.

Big picture

Explaining the News to Our Kids: By Age and Developmental Level from Common Sense Media


*From Common Sense Media

Consider your own reactions. Your kids will look to the way you handle the news to determine their own approach. If you stay calm and rational, they will, too.

Take action. Depending on the issue and kids' ages, families can find ways to help those affected by the news. Kids can write postcards to politicians expressing their opinions; families can attend meetings or protests; kids can help assemble care packages or donate a portion of their allowance to a rescue/humanitarian effort. Check out websites that help kids do good.

Tips for Kids UNDER AGE 7

*From Common Sense Media

Keep the news away. Turn off the TV and radio news at the top of the hour and half hour. Read the newspaper out of range of young eyes that can be frightened by the pictures (kids may respond strongly to pictures of other kids in jeopardy). Preschool kids don't need to see or hear about something that will only scare them silly, especially because they can easily confuse facts with fantasies or fears.

Stress that your family is safe. At this age, kids are most concerned with your safety and separation from you. Try not to minimize or discount their concerns and fears, but reassure them by explaining all the protective measures that exist to keep them safe. If the news event happened far away, you can use the distance to reassure kids. For kids who live in areas where crime and violence is a very real threat, any news account of violence may trigger extra fear. If that happens, share a few age-appropriate tips for staying and feeling safe (being with an adult, keeping away from any police activity).

Be together. Though it's important to listen and not belittle their fears, distraction and physical comfort can go a long way. Snuggling up and watching something cheery or doing something fun together may be more effective than logical explanations about probabilities.

Tips for Kids AGES 8-12

*From Common Sense Media

Carefully consider your child's maturity and temperament. Many kids can handle a discussion of threatening events, but if your kids tend toward the sensitive side, be sure to keep them away from the TV news; repetitive images and stories can make dangers appear greater, more prevalent, and closer to home.

Be available for questions and conversation. At this age, many kids will see the morality of events in stark black-and-white terms and are in the process of developing their moral beliefs. You may have to explain the basics of prejudice, bias, and civil and religious strife. But be careful about making generalizations, since kids will take what you say to the bank. This is a good time to ask them what they know, since they'll probably have gotten their information from friends, and you may have to correct facts.

Talk about -- and filter -- news coverage. You might explain that even news programs compete for viewers, which sometimes affects content decisions. If you let your kids use the Internet, go online with them. Some of the pictures posted are simply grisly. Monitor where your kids are going, and set your URLs to open to non-news-based portals.

For more information on how to talk to your kids about a recent tragedy or upsetting imagery, please visit the National Association of School Psychologists or the American Psychological Association. For more on how news can impact kids, check out News and America's Kids: How Young People Perceive and Are Impacted by the News,
When Bad Things Happen

Teaching Tolerance Magazine article to help kids navigate our sometimes-violent world.

Ways to Thank Front-line Health Care Heroes

Create a colorful sign to show gratitude for our health care workers and hang it on your window or put it in your yard. This is a great way to involve your kids to teach them to thank our essential workers and for them to express their creativity.


Take the creativity one step further by writing letters of gratitude and sending “Thank You” cards to our health care heroes. SSM Health is asking our communities to send cards to our front-line caregivers.

St. Louis

Notes of gratitude for Health Care Heroes

1015 Corporate Square Drive, Suite 101

Creve Coeur, MO 63132


SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital

c/o Marketing

2505 Mission Drive

Jefferson City, MO 65109

Southern Illinois

Marketing and Communications

SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital

1 Good Samaritan Way

Mt. Vernon, IL 62864

Robinson's Counseling Team

Indria Harris

School Counselor, preK-2nd grade

314-213-6100, ext. 4061

Julie Cohen

School Counselor, 3rd-5th grade

314-213-6100, ext. 4040

Tonya Ampey-Elong

Social Worker, KSD

314-213-6100, ext. 8060

Ana Shields

Educational Support Counselor