Children’s Grief Awareness Day

Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School hosted a “blue out” to observe Children’s Grief Awareness Day in support of children and adolescents coping with grief.

Children’s Grief Awareness Day was begun as a day of hope, encouragement and awareness to help others understand the impact of death on children and adolescents and their need for support.

The guidance department invited students and staff to wear blue on Thursday, Nov. 16, to raise awareness and show support to the grieving youth around us.

Students in blue were also encouraged to snap a selfie with Hope the Butterfly during lunch and to share an encouraging message on a Wall of Hope. Children’s Grief Awareness Day was created in 2008 by the Highmark Caring Place, a Pittsburgh-based center for grieving children, adults, adolescents and their families. “Hope the Butterfly” is a Caring Place companion.

Henry Ford, guidance counselor, said the messages help express that those hurting or suffering from loss are not alone. Prizes were also awarded to a middle school and high school student sporting the most blue.

“I always believe it is a worthwhile endeavor to introduce young people to current initiatives that address large scale issues in the world around them,” said Ford, who has volunteered as a group facilitator at the Highmark Caring Place’s Warrendale site for the past few years.

The Caring Place started Children’s Grief Awareness Day because students wanted to bring attention to what their grieving classmates were coping with, sometimes in silence.

Ford said “caring team schools” get connected with one another on this day every year, whether by direct communication or by sharing each school’s activities via social media.

He said the Caring Place generously donated various resources for Lincoln Park to use for the day: stickers, posters, artwork, informational pamphlets and handouts, and CGAD T-shirts for students who engage in Caring Place special events.