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10th Anniversary Volunteer and Staff Celebration

Former and Current Volunteers and Staff are cordially invited to: The Children's Room 10th Anniversary Volunteer and Staff Celebration When:  Sunday, April 26th 2:00pm to 4:00pm Where: First Baptist Church, 819 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA Please join us for light refreshments as we honor you and your caring service to the families at The Children's Room.  Judy Oliver, founding staff member, will be joining us and sharing her memories as we celebrate The Children's Room yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Please RSVP by April 12th to event@childrensroom.org or call (781) 641-4741. Hope you can join us!

By |April 10th, 2009|Categories: Community Events, Events, Volunteers|0 Comments

“Rock Ceremony” has special meaning

Beautiful little cloth bags with silk strings fill a basket up on the third floor of The Children’s Room. What are they for? These handmade bags are an important part of our “Rock Ceremony,” a ritual shared by every grieving family in our program. Whenever families gather at The Children’s Room, we end the visit holding hands in a big closing circle. Sometimes during closing circle we have a Rock Ceremony, marking a sendoff to a family ready to leave their bi-monthly support group. A family is invited into the center of the closing circle, and each person picks a handmade bag to fill with rocks. One by one, each family member chooses a rough rock with sharp edges: this rock symbolizes the corner of their heart that feels painful because someone in their family has died. Then they each choose three smooth stones, to symbolize the enduring beauty of life and the parts of them that are shiny and whole, and perhaps stronger than before. We recite the Rock Ceremony reading, which includes the words, “Because of what’s happened to you, you may always be stronger, more gentle, and more tender with all the people in your life. These stones were chosen just for you, and have special meaning.” Many caring hands have collected rocks and sewn the handmade bags for our ceremony, and we welcome contributions! We can all appreciate comforting rituals in the face of changes and challenges. Against a backdrop of uncertainty or difficulty, a ritual helps us pause and re-center our outlook. The Rock Ceremony at The Children’s Room is just one way to connect to our past and to each other, as we honor important feelings and memories together. [...]

By |February 11th, 2009|Categories: Rituals, Volunteers|0 Comments

A String of Memories

“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.

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 cshannon@childrensroom.org.  RSVPs are essential as space is limited to create an interactive experience. […]

50 Volunteers X 4 hours = One Amazing Transformation

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 [...]

By |January 19th, 2009|Categories: Child Loss, Events, Memorial Events, News, Teens, Volunteers|Tags: , , |0 Comments

MLK Day of Service at The Children’s Room

As part of the national call to service for Monday, January 19,  The Children's Room is offering a community service program.  For more information on the national program, visit USA Service Program. We are offering three opportunities to serve on Martin Luther King  Day of Service: Opportunity One:  Hands-On Projects - this opportunity is now full!  We have 50 volunteers coming - wow!   This opportunity consists of a variety of projects such as Cleaning and organizing our art room Moving file cabinets (heavy lifting) Creating a new work space (heavy lifting, building) Preparing a mailing to go out to local schools Organizing our library area We have some special projects planned for children, as well.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.  One activity will be based on the book "My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers" by Christine King Farris and another will be based on "The Memory String" by Eve Bunting. Snacks and coffee will be provided (feel free to bring some to share). Opportunity Two:  Arts and crafts donations gladly accepted (noon to 2 pm): Glitter glue, markers, paint, paper...  beads.  Plain, wooden beads especially. Opportunity Three:  Donations to the Arlington Food Pantry will also be accepted (11 am to 2  pm).  Non-perishable items only. More detail on these and other activities is available on the national website for the USA Service Program.

By |January 13th, 2009|Categories: News, Volunteers|0 Comments

The Many Faces of Loss – In Service for Group Facilitators

Grief is a term we often associate with the loss of a relationship through death yet the loss in our lives and those of the children and families with whom we work often extends beyond bereavement. David Luterman is a pioneer in working with children and families who have been impacted by loss related to deafness, disability and communication disorders . He has dedicated his career to developing a greater understanding of the psychological effects and emotions associated with hearing impairment and the caregiver role and has lectured and taught widely on ways that all caregivers can provide empathy, understanding and encouragement. Space is limited to please RSVP to Colleen Shannon at cshannon@childrensroom.org by Friday, January 16, 2009 to reserve your spot! Thanks to volunteer facilitator Sairey Luterman (David’s daughter in-law), Dr. Luterman is offering a special in-service to Children’s Room volunteers on Saturday January 31, 2009 from 9:00am to 12:00 noon. Keep reading for more information about Dr. David Luterman and his work. […]

By |January 12th, 2009|Categories: Events, News, Training, Volunteers|0 Comments

Nancy Lubin-Levy joins the Board of Directors

Nancy Lubin-Levy has joined the Board of Directors of The Children's Room. Nancy brings a wealth of compassion and commitment to The Children's Room, as well as extensive board experience from other institutions. Nancy managed our program at our Framingham location for several years.  Nancy is participating in a two year fellowship at Cambridge Health Alliance in their program for psychotherapy which provides a great training opportunity for her to extend her training in psychotherapy.  She received her Masters in Social Work at Simmons College in 2008. Nancy holds a Masters in Education in special education from Boston University. She worked for many years in a day treatment program for children with emotional problems.  Nancy was widowed over a decade ago while pregnant with her third child and her other children were 4 and 6 years old. The Children's Room is honored to have such a caring, supporting and accomplished member of our community join our Board of Directors.

By |November 3rd, 2008|Categories: News, Volunteers|0 Comments

One Family’s Story from our Memories Walk

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. […]

By |October 18th, 2008|Categories: Events, Family Stories, Memorial Events, News, Training, Volunteers|0 Comments

Library committee launches a new year

Books are often a much needed resource when children, teens and families are grieving.  Sometimes sharing a book with a friend, babysitter, teacher or relative is a simple way to let people know how we are feeling.  Our wonderful library committee takes great pride in reviewing all the books in our library to identify the best books.  Word of mouth is the best source of recommendations.  Because everyone grieves differently, our library has a wide selection for all ages. The Children's Room library committee launched its new program for the year with a kickoff meeting to plan the calendar for the year.  The key projects in the works are: Creating a special reading place for adults and children to read the books; Help families take advantage of the books we have in stock; Produce more lists of recommended readings to share tips and opinions about best books; and Planning special book-centered events which are always a big hit with the kids. Our lending library was started by and is maintained entirely by volunteers.  Our library holds hundreds of books, all of them donated by our community.  As with all of the work at The Children's Room, donors and volunteers have come together to make something special for our families. Volunteers are always needed for this active committee, so if you are interested in sharing your love of books with our community, please contact us at info@childrensroom.org. We especially need help providing summaries of recommendations of books.

By |October 8th, 2008|Categories: Books, Resources, Volunteers|0 Comments