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Rapoport Elementary Awarded Grief-Sensitive Schools Grant

Posted Date: 01/08/2024

Rapoport Elementary Awarded Grief-Sensitive Schools Grant

Rapoport Academy Elementary has been designated a “Grief-Sensitive School” by the New York Life Foundation, receiving a $500 Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative grant to help create a bereavement support plan and encourage ongoing staff development to better support its grieving students. 

Elementary Counselor Yazmeen Lopez applied for the grant and is thankful to Tonya Cybuski from New York Life for providing staff with Grief Sensitive School training. 

“Children experience the same emotions we do, but they have less vocabulary to describe their feelings or make sense of them,” Lopez said. “This can be even more complicated when they encounter a challenging situation involving loss.”

Lopez plans to use the $500 grant to expand the school’s mental health library with books about grief and purchase additional resources for students.  

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 lend support to their students, with the vast majority of teachers reporting they have not received any bereavement training. 

The Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative – a pioneering effort that utilizes New York Life’s workforce to help equip local schools to care for the grieving students in their midst – 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.