The Mississippi School of the Arts has been designated a “Grief-Sensitive School” by the New York Life Foundation, receiving a $500 grant to help create a bereavement support plan and encourage ongoing staff development as part of the national Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative.

Schools confront issues of grief and loss every day: 1 in 15 US children will experience the death of a parent or sibling by age 18. Studies show that unresolved grief can have a social and emotional impact on children, leading to behavioral issues and poor performance in school. Yet educators often feel under-prepared to help, with the vast majority of teachers reporting they have not received any bereavement training.

Through the Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative – a pioneering effort to better equip schools to care for the grieving students in their midst – trained New York Life ambassadors connect with educators in their local communities to raise awareness and understanding of grief’s prevalence and impact among school-age children.

The program is an extension of the work of the Coalition to Support Grieving Students, a collaboration among leading K-12 professional organizations, to develop and deliver best-in-class grief support resources to educators. The New York Life Foundation founded the Coalition in 2013, in partnership with the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, as part of its commitment to improving schools’ ability to reach their grieving students.

After hosting a presentation on grief support resources, Mississippi School of the Arts agreed to strive to become a grief-sensitive school, and received a $500 grant which will be used to help deliver support to bereaved students and their families.

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided nearly $280 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. 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 and agents of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good and Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative programs. To learn more, please visit www.newyorklifefoundation.org.


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