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National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement Receives $1.4 Million from the New York Life Foundation

Multi-Year Grant Creates First-of-Its-Kind Coalition of National Educational Associations with a Focus on Childhood Bereavement Services

NEW YORK, December 12, 2013—The National Center For School Crisis and Bereavement (The Center), located at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and the Drexel University College of Medicine, announced today a four year, $1,400,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation to provide capacity building and general operating support for The Center and its key role in the Coalition to Support Grieving Students initiative. The Coalition is a group of representatives from the major national education associations in the country, whose sole goal is to provide bereavement resources at all touch points for children in the school system.

“This groundbreaking project gets to the heart of what our research has revealed—educators and other school professionals are in a unique position to create a supportive environment for students who have experienced the death of a loved one. And, now with this funding and creation of the Coalition, educators will have the tools and resources they need to support grieving students,” said Maria Collins, vice president of the New York Life Foundation. “This initiative will ultimately change how grieving students are supported in the educational system throughout the country.”

“We are proud to be part of this critical project that will create a centralized, widely accepted resource that will provide educators and other school personnel with the information and training they need to help grieving children in K-12th grade,” said David Schonfeld, M.D., director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, pediatrician-in-chief at St. Christopher’s, and professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine. “The primary goal of the project is to recognize the important role that schools play in supporting children at times of loss and to empower educators and other school personnel to support grieving children in the school setting.”

The funding provides support in two areas:
  • The Center’s current operations, which include responding to schools and other entities that deal with grieving kids and providing counsel and training to school professionals, mental health providers, health care providers, and other professionals in the position to support grieving children and families around the country, in addition to growing its capacity and reach.
  • The creation of the Coalition to Support Grieving Students, which is sanctioned by representatives from national educational associations, will provide the expertise required to develop new bereavement resources including: training modules (written and video), guided learning, talking points, and supportive materials tailored to each educational leadership group including superintendents, counselors, principals, psychologists, teachers, etc.
The Coalition is made up of the following associations, among others:
  • American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
  • American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA)
  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
  • National Education Association (NEA)
  • United Federation of Teachers (UFT)
About The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement

The Center was established in 2005 with initial support from the September 11th Children’s Fund and the National Philanthropic Trust. The Center serves as a resource for information, training materials, consultation and technical assistance for school systems, professional training programs, professional organizations, governmental and non-governmental agencies, communities, children’s groups and projects in the areas of crisis and bereavement. The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement is housed at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and the Drexel University College of Medicine. To learn more, please visit www.schoolcrisiscenter.org

About the New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $168 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program. To learn more, please visit www.newyorklifefoundation.org.

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