Steps to support kids’ development before heading back to school in fall

Steps to support kids development before heading back to school in fall

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As schools plan to reopen in the fall, they'll face a daunting task: pulling their communities back together while helping students get back on track.

But they’ll also be dealing with students’ mental health.

During this pandemic, basically all students have experienced some stress from the disruption of their daily routines.

That's why it's very important parents start with something they can control: a routine.

Experts advise keeping your kids busy this summer learning, spending time outside, and spending time connected with friends in small groups.

Mental health experts say it's important kids feel connected and engaged, especially if your child is social.

Another thing families should take advantage of this summer is school counselors and school-based clinics like Sunnyside Unified School District's Project Aware.

Through Project Aware, counselors connect with students and their families to help them balance school and life and to make sure they’re doing OK.

Experts say, even though kids are resilient, they still feel things on a deep level. They just don't have the maturity to know how to handle their emotions or even express them.

That's why staff members with Project Aware say it's very important for kids to learn to talk with someone.

“Always ask. Always reach out. Whatever you may be struggling with, even if it’s ‘I don’t know, I just don’t feel right, right now.’ Reach out to somebody. Somebody will always be there,” said Elizabeth Allen, AWARE project manager.

If you think your child needs some additional help or support navigating this time, call the school and ask your child/student to be placed in the Teacher Assistance Team process.

If your child/student needs mental health services the AWARE team will be contacted. If you are a parent in crisis email the AWARE team at awareteam@susd12.org.

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