Kara’s Journeys Program is a holistic approach to providing grief support for school communities on the Peninsula. The Journeys Program is mostly comprised of peer-support grief groups conducted at the school site. The groups are available for students who have had a close family member or friend die. These students will have a chance to participate in a weekly group for 8-10 sessions that will take place during the school day at a time chosen in consultation with school staff. In the group, students will have a chance to grieve in a supportive environment with other students their age who have experienced the death of a relative or close friend. This helps reduce the feelings of isolation they may experience and normalize feelings and thoughts they may have surrounding the death.
Along with group support, Journeys Program staff are able to provide training and workshops for school sites. The training opportunities include education for group facilitators and other school staff who are looking to gain more understanding of the grief process and tools for supporting students in their grief. Workshops are an opportunity to provide education and support for school communities, including parents, school staff, and students. The group support, training, and workshops are all provided to schools at no cost, with donations welcome.
Kara staff is always happy to have conversations around grief topics with school professionals, regardless of participation in the Journeys Program.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer Group Model Options
We have two models for approaching peer groups with the Journeys Program: the On-site Partnership model, and the Consultative Model.
On-Site Partnership Model: Both a Kara staff member and school staff person will help administer and co-lead the groups each session. The school staff co-leader will be present during the duration of each session and offer any student follow-up support as needed.
Consultative Model: Two school site staff will be identified to co-lead the groups each session. Kara staff will meet with school staff between sessions to provide support and consult on grief topics and questions.
Both models include a 10-week curriculum, staff support, regular meetings and shared data for program sustainability. You can read more about the specifics of the two models here.
Peer Group Basic Requirements
In order for a school to be eligible for a group, the school must:
- Identify a school-site facilitator available to conduct a 10-week group
- Have between 7-12 students identify interest in the group
- Have time to conduct intake interviews and collect paperwork for students
- Allow for new school-site facilitators to go through a 2-hour orientation with Journeys Program staff (to include training on grief and the 10-week curriculum)
- Be willing to sign an MOU to have clarity on expectations and roles for the group
Apply to Have a Group at Your School
Because of the demand for peer-support grief groups, we ask that schools fill out a short application to express interest and share some information about their school or district. Pleae read through the information on this page before applying, as we will want to make sure your school site is prepared for the group and its needs. While we do not currently charge a fee for engaging in the Journeys Program, we ask for buy-in from school sites. We have a high expectation for school engagement and this application is one important way we make sure your site is ready and willing to partner for a group!
The priority deadline for the application is September 31st. After this time, applications will be considered on a monthly basis. Please note, a complete application does not guarantee a group at your school site. Once applications are received, Journeys Progam staff will review them and reach out regarding next steps.
We are currently experiencing an increased number of service requests. Service options may be limited or delayed at this time. We appreciate your understanding as we strive to meet the needs of the bereaved in our community.
I think students emotionally gained so many new understandings of talking about their emotions and grief. I also feel that their social interactions improved greatly as they were able to see peers that were safe and willing to engage with them on an emotional topic.
Become a Grief Sensitive School!
New York Life Foundation has launched a groundbreaking program called the Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative (GSSI) to better equip educators and other school personnel to support grieving students. The purpose of the initiative is to raise awareness about the prevalence of childhood bereavement and increase the resources available for schools. Learn more about the GSSI here.
To bring GSSI to your school, email email@example.com
- The State of Grief Report: COVID-19’s Impact on Bereavement Support in America
- 10 Basic Principles of Grieving Children & Teens
- Understanding Children's Reactions to Grief
- Grief Support for Children with Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
- Being Grief Informed: From Understanding to Action
Resources for Mental Health Professionals
Resources for Administrators
Resources for Teachers
The Grieving Garden: Living with the Death of a Child
by Suzanne Redfern and Susan Gilbert
The Unspeakable Loss: How Do You Live After a Child Dies?
by Nisha Zenoff
“A Parent's Guide to Raising GrievingChildren: Rebuilding Your Family after theDeath of a Loved One”
by Silverman and Kelly
- “What do we tell the Children? Talking toKids About Death and Dying”
by Joe Primo
- “After a Parent’s Suicide: Helping Children Heal”
- After a Suicide Death: An Activity Book for Grieving Kids
- After a Murder: A Workbook for Grieving Kids
- Bereavement Resource Guide: Adult Books
- Bereavement Resource Guide: Childrens Books
- “The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine Life”
by Donald L. Rosenstein and Justin M. Yopp
- “The 16 Best Books About Dealing With Grief” New York Magazine
- Kara Resources Page: filled with articles, books, and links to other web pages that all support grief
- The Dougy Center: a comprehensive website with resources, tips, a podcast(Grief Out Loud), and insight on grief for youth and families
- Modern Loss: a website with stories, articles, advice columns, and a podcast all dedicated to grief
- What's Your Grief?: a website with a range of articles and a podcast on grief in its many forms
- The Widowed Parent: a website for widowed parents with writings, videos,tips, and links to support your grief journey
- Shared Grief Project: a website full of childhood grief stories from prominent sports figures to successful business persons This is a great resource for normalizing grief in our world.
- Actively Moving Forward website designed to support college students and young adults
- Sesame Street in Communities: Helping Kids Grieve
- New York Like Foundation: Bereavement Support Resources
- Responding to Change and Loss from The National Alliance for Grieving Children
Disastershock How to cope with the emotiuonal distress of a major disaster
by Brian Gerrard, Ph.D., Emily Girault, Ph.D., Valerie Appleton, Ed.D., Suzanne Giraurdo, Ed.D., and Sue Shaffer, Ed.D.
- Actively Moving Forward App for college students and young adults
- Resources for Anxiety Management
- NAGC Hero ToolKit
- Bereavement Resources from New York Life
- Self-Care Ideas
- Ideas for Comfort and Care
- Self-Compassion Journal
- Self-Compassion Break
- Nutrition and Stress
- Grief and Nutrition
- Calm Meditation and Mindfulness App
- “Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health and Find Peace in theEveryday”
by Matthew Sockolov