Despite the fact that the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us, youth today are still grappling with its effects. No child responds well to prolonged periods of isolation, but those from marginalized backgrounds and fewer support systems have a particularly hard time.
Studies show that youth who experience isolation are more prone to angry outbursts, more reliant on screen time, and suffer more from sleep reversal. Each of these is a significant barrier to learning, but taken together, they represent a paradigm shift in the way we prioritize support for our youth.
In this “post-COVID” era, we’re obliged to devote more resources to helping our students process and cope with their feelings, equipping them with the tools and outlets necessary to vent their frustrations in ways that are both safe and effective.
Recently, we took our students on a social discovery field trip to a Rage Room. On its face, this was a fun opportunity to release some tension and have fun. But we framed this experience with a presentation that discussed healthy ways for them to process their feelings as well as the importance of emotional outlets. We even introduced them to meditation and grounding exercises designed to expose them to tools they can use outside of RE.
Donations from our community make trips like these possible. Having access to unrestricted funds allows us to adapt our support to students’ needs in real time. We believe that our youth deserve opportunities for fun and enrichment. But fun can also be strategic and play an important role in students’ learning and overall wellness. We’re grateful to our community for supporting our mission, and for equipping us with the resources to serve our youth effectively.