RIDGEFIELD — South Ridge Elementary School recently established a program to help students who are dealing with grief and loss, and two area companies have stepped up to lend their support. Last year, the New York Life Foundation provided no-cost training to South Ridge staff on how to support grieving students in a classroom setting, as well as a $500 grant toward their program. And Slumberkins, a Vancouver company that makes products to support social and emotional learning, donated its entire line of stuffed animals, books, and teaching curricula, including its products focused on grief and love. New York Life Insurance financial services representative Darren Davidson led the training for South Ridge staff.
South Ridge implemented several new ideas, including resource libraries for teachers and parents, “calming corners” to allow students space and time to deal with emotions, and condolence kits for students experiencing loss in their immediate families. Community members donated stuffed animals to give to grieving children. School counselor Anna Moskal said “It’s going to allow us to expand this program so we can provide something special for kids and their families when they are most in need, to help them know how to support each other when they lose a loved one.”