Resources for Helping Children in Foster Care Build Resilience
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, has welcomed Karli, a Muppet in foster care, as well as her “for-now” parents, Dalia and Clem. All three Muppets appear in videos posted online as part of an initiative to provide free resources to caregivers navigating difficult issues, such as family homelessness, foster care, and trauma. The foster-care resources—which include an interactive storybook and printable activities, as well as videos featuring Muppets—are the latest in a series of packages that Sesame Workshop is producing to support children going through traumatic experiences. These online resources aren’t featured on the television show. They are intended for use by parents and caregivers, and also by therapists, social workers, and anyone else who works with these children.
Each month we publish blogs and several newsletters full of digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM resources. Below are items from our blogs and newsletters that educators turned to the most in November.
Students come to school with, as Dr. Adolph Brown describes, two backpacks. One of the backpacks contains academic tools, such as pencils, calculators, and textbooks, that represent their readiness to learn. The second backpack represents the invisible emotional weight that burdens each student entering our school buildings. Anxiety, stress, rage, self-doubt, and low self-worth resulting from bullying, child abuse, substance abuse, and neglect cannot be unpacked and shoved into a school locker. This backpack accompanies students throughout the school day and impacts their engagement, attentiveness, and interactions. Educators don’t always see the contents of this backpack, yet they witness its negative impact on student learning every day. So how can educators and leaders reach these students? How can we unburden them and teach them coping and relationship skills that allow them to participate in their education fully?
Simple Interactions, a project of the Fred Rogers Center in partnership with researchers at Harvard University and University of Pittsburgh, has been adopted by schools, afterschool and summer programs, and other organizations for children in 35 states and several countries, including in China, Canada, and Scotland. Under the program, educators’ interactions with children are filmed to help strengthen relationships and educators’ professional growth.