New York Life's Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative

Partner with us in building a Grief-Sensitive School community

New York Life has launched a groundbreaking program called the Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative to better equip educators and other school personnel to support grieving students.

Its Purpose:

  • Provide a personal introduction to this initiative through presentation given by the New York Life workforce
  • Raise awareness about the prevalence of childhood bereavement and ‘grief in school’
  • Increase the knowledge of the resources available for schools to support grieving students and their families
  • Support schools/school districts in striving to become Grief-Sensitive through tangible resources, training, practical tools and a connection to a network of supportive services
  • Check out the ten ways GSSI is making an impact in your community

We're often with them more than parents. We have to have their emotional needs met before they can learn.

Anna Pierce, Counselor, May Howard Elementary School

Grief at school is all-too-common.

When educators were asked in a recent survey by the New York Life Foundation with the American Federation of Teachers…

93% of educators
agree that childhood grief is a serious problem that deserves more attention from schools.

92% of educators
agree that students who experience a significant loss generally need more support over the longer term.

99% of educators
agree that grief can frequently have an adverse impact on learning at school.

Ready to sign up to be a Grief-Sensitive school or school district?

Currently there are more than 2,000 schools participating in the Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative, and the New York Life Foundation is aiming to add an additional 1,750 new academic institutions to the list.

Additional education-related programs

The Coalition to Support Grieving Students

Pioneering collaboration among the leading K-12 professional organizations who worked together to produce industry endorsed, educator-specific grief resources and training materials.

Learn more

Alliance for Young Artists and Writers

New York Life provides six students with $1,000 scholarships through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The scholarships acknowledge students who have explored the loss of a loved one in their creative work.

Learn more

First Book

Together, the New York Life Foundation and First Book are equipping educators with resources to support children who are experiencing grief and loss.

Learn more

Explore more stories

Explore news and stories related to important issues addressed by the New York Life Foundation, including education, workforce engagement, bereavement, COVID-19 and more.


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The New York Life Foundation has been supporting families and school communities experiencing everyday grief.



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As the largest corporate champion of childhood bereavement support over the past decade, the New York Life Foundation has a longstanding commitment to improving the support available to grieving children and their families across the country.


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