Talking to Children About Tragedy

Recent events in our world have brought a renewed emphasis on tragic events, particularly as images of hurricane devastation and a mass shooting can be found everywhere in the news and on social media. Often times, these kinds of events bring a sense of hopelessness and anxiety among children and adults alike. For children, these emotions can also result in some fears about the future and their place in it. There are times when our children need reassurance from us that they are safe and in the care of the significant adults in their lives. The American Academy of Pediatrics has suggestions to help parents/guardians talk to their children about these kinds of events. They recommend the following:

  1. Start by asking your children what they have heard about the situation. Follow that up with what questions they might have in order to initiate the discussion.
  2. Avoid graphic details and minimize exposure to media. Particularly for younger children, deep details and exposure to images and videos only make the situation worse.
  3. Look for signs that your children may be not be coping well to this kind of news: sleep problems, physical complaints, changes in behavior, and an increase in sadness, anxiety, or fear.

For more information and some downloadable resources, click here.

Upcoming Dates to Keep in Mind
  • Remember that next Monday, October 9th, is Columbus Day and there is no school for students and staff that day.
  • K-5 families, save October 19th as the date for an outing devoted to some extended math learning! The focus will be on “Pumpkin Math” and we are looking to visit a farm in a central location to add in a little history of agriculture with the day. More information will be coming later this week.
  • October 20th is a professional development day for our teachers, so there will be no school for students that day.
  • We are still in need of a middle school parent/guardian and a high school parent/guardian to serve on our School Council. Please send me a letter of interest to if you are willing to serve. The commitment would be a monthly Zoom meeting for about an hour in the late afternoon. We will be scheduling our first meeting within the next couple of weeks, so please let me know if you are available as soon as possible. Thank you!

On a closing note, Wednesday, October 4th marks the one-year anniversary of my coming to GCVS. It has been quite the ride as we have navigated through a lot of changes, but it has been a most gratifying experience for me to work with an incredibly dedicated staff and wonderful students and families. I consider myself blessed to have this opportunity and I look forward to our continued partnership together!

Regards, Dr. Judith Houle, Executive Director

A picture from the half-marathon course of the Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday, September 30th, walking in honor of GCVS students who are battling cancer.