“This was my great grandmother’s memory string,” Laura told Whiskers in a loud voice. “Then it was my grandmother’s, then my mother’s, and now it’s mine.” The Memory String by Eve Bunting is a book about a girl named Laura who tells her cat what each button stands for on her precious memory string. Since her mom died three years before, the buttons and memories mean a lot to Laura. The buttons all have special meaning, like the button from Laura’s birthday dress, or the khaki button from her dad’s uniform when he went to war, or the white button from her mother’s nightgown. Making a memory string is a way to remember family history, and that’s just what kids at The Children’s Room can do when they make one of their own. Listening to the book being read aloud to them is just one way to get ideas for how to make a memory string. Children in our groups can also choose from a large donation of beads that have been collected for the launch of this special project, where kids can paint wooden beads or make beads out of clay, then add them to beads or buttons from home.
The CEF Foundation is hosting a pre-Valentine's Day Dinner and Raffle to benefit Christian's Angels. Christian's Angels is a non-profit organization providing financial assistance to families in need after the death of a child. Funds raised will also benefit the on-going water safety program of the CEF Foundation. Friday, Februrary 13, 2009 6 pm to 11 pm Location: Anthony's of Malden 105 Canal Street, Malden, MA Adults: $35 and children under 12 years: $20 (under 6 years of age, free) The CEF foundation was created after the 2007 drowning death of 4 year old Christian. The CEF Foundation provides life jackets and flotation devices to all children at camps, lakes, beaches and town-run pools across Massachusetts. For more information and to learn more about the family's efforts and advocacy around water safety, visit the CEF website at CEFfoundation.org.
Upcoming Workshop: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Death, and Other Stressful Life Events
This workshop is open to the public and is ideal for teachers and other professionals who work with children of all ages. Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (Fee: $25, payable on-line or in person) Location: The Children’s Room, 1210 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVPs are essential as space is limited to create an interactive experience. […]
As part of the National Day of Service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, The Children's Room opened its doors wide to a group of over 50 volunteers of all ages. Thank you to everyone who volunteered and donated on this inspirational day. The list of accomplishments is long: Built shelving for art supplies which we desperately needed so we could store all of the new donations we received. Built bookshelves for our new, growing library. We are creating a sunny, cozy library nook for our families. Moved file cabinets into our new flexible workspace. (No more looking for files in the freezing cold back hall). Sewed bags for our closing rock ceremony (very popular with the 11-13 year old set). These pouches are special keepsakes for our families when they are done with our program. Built desks for our new workspace. Now we can spread out our work. Assembled new office chairs. Very comfortable. Fixed the wobbly pool tables! Both of them! Built the bench for our garden. Moved all of our books from different parts of the house to our new library nook. Lots of lifting involved in that! Sorted arts and crafts (mainly done by kids! “It was exhausting” one kid reported. I hope they all slept well afterwards.) Cleaned the sand table and all the shelving and sorting those toys! (Our youngest volunteer helped with that project) Moved heavy objects from one place to another! Yes we can! Now the air conditioners have been put away! Folded our art cards so we can give them out. Stuffed envelopes for our mailing to 300+ schools to spread the word about our trainings And the entire house was left cleaner than when the [...]
Kota Press has a blogpost with ideas of how to incorporate your loved one into the holidays. Most of her ideas came from parents who had a child die, but their application is universal. Here are a couple of ideas: For those celebrating Christmas, creating ornaments in memory of someone and then giving those ornaments to family and friends is a great idea. The time spent making the ornaments is a time spent thinking about how you loved them at the same time you are doing something creative which is a stress reliever. Sometimes making time to do something active is a stress reliever. You don't have to be too crafty to make it work. One special idea, which I know a couple of people use, is to have a tiny angel paper puncher and to punch a little angel in every card sent. Subtle and, yet, wonderful. Kara writes that she is "inspired and comforted" by the ideas. Hopefully you will be, too. Visit her blog for more info and other great reads. See a previous post on other strategies.
Wherever you are in the world, light a candle in memory of a child that died. The Worldwide Candlelighting was started by the Compassionate Friends, and international organization that supports friends and families after the death of a child. Visit The Compassionate Friends and their new website for more information. The Compassionate Friends offers support groups for adults grieving the death of a child (of any age) and have support groups all around the world, including many in our local area. The Compassionate Friends also sponsor an annual conference/retreat for families. The next conference will be in the summer of 2009 in Portland, Oregon.
There are stars up above So far away we only see their light Long long after the star itself is gone And so it is with the people we loved Their memories keep shining ever brightly Though their time with us is done But the stars that light up the darkest night These are the lights that guide us As we live our days These are the ways we remember – Hanah Senesh […]
Halloween is behind us and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. For grieving children, teens and families - or anyone grieving a loss - these are difficult times. Whether your loss was recent or several years ago, each holiday season presents new challenges. The Children's Room has several resources that may help during this time. Parenting Through Grief Workshop Sunday, November 9, 2008 from 4 pm to 5:30 pm at The Children's Room Arlington location Join us for a parent to parent workshop where alumni parents will share their strategies and ideas for ways to cope with these challenging times. Admission is free. We have a summary of key ideas that you can download in a PDF. This is the first of four parent to parent workshops this program year. Mark your calendars now to join us. We are honored to have the support and commitment of alumni parents to provide this valuable resources to the community. Key things to remember: 1) The anticipation of the event is almost always worse than the actual day. 2) Take care of yourself - make it a priority. Don't think about what you "should" do. 3) There are many, many people who want to help you. Helping you makes them feel better, too. Have ideas to share? Please post a comment here.
Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a traditional Mexican celebration where friends and families gather to celebrate, remember and prepare special foods in honor of those who have died. Last November members of The Children’s Room staff attended a traditional Day of the Dead celebration at The Forest Hills Educational Trust. Read on to learn more about this year’s festival. For more information about the history, rituals and celebrations related to the Day of the Dead please visit their website: […]
Our Communications Director Anne Favaloro shares her family’s personal story with the Medford Boat Club to express her gratitude for their sponsorship, which made our event so meaningful for them. We have reproduced it here with her permission. […]