Princeton High School guidance counselors Sonia Reso and Kristina Donovan have been awarded a Princeton Education Foundation Mini-Grant to continue their work with the Grieving Teen Support Group at the high school.
“The grief and loss group gives students the opportunity to connect with others that have had similar experiences, and let them know that they are not alone in their feelings,” Donovan said.
The $500 Princeton Education Foundation Mini-Grant, the second that Reso and Donovan have received for the Grieving program, will pay for books, other materials and a speaker. In addition, the group will increase the number of sessions from 10 or 12 to 15 this year.
The initial idea for the group came about when Reso and Donovan independently approached their supervisor about creating a support group in 2010, having both experienced significant loss in their lives. They began working together shortly after. With their first PEF Mini-Grant in hand, they started the program in December of 2011.
The counselors’ goal is to provide structure and support for teens as they move through the grief process. They have developed their own curriculum based on multiple techniques to teach positive coping skills.
Student participation is recommended by teachers, counselors or their peers. The students are excused during the school day and their participation is strictly confidential.
"Up to the point when they enter our group, some students have yet to find an environment in which they feel comfortable sharing or processing their grief,” said Reso. “Often times, our group becomes that for them and can really aid them in moving forward with their loss."
The Grieving Teen Support Group is one of twelve projects across the district that were supported through a Princeton Education Foundation mini-grant during the 2012 -2013 academic year. The Princeton Education Foundation established the mini-grant program to help fund innovative classroom projects that fall outside the school district’s means.
Among the many projects funded this year are elementary level reading initiatives, middle school applied science and technology projects and enhancement of a high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program with Mindstorm Robotics.
The Princeton Education Foundation was established in 1995 to serve as a bridge between our community and our public schools- encouraging private philanthropy to enhance public education for students at all levels. Since its inception, the Princeton Education Foundation has contributed over $1,200,000 to the Princeton Public Schools for capital improvements, educational programs and teacher support.