This message probably finds you as it does those of us putting it together: swamped. Fall is routinely a spectacularly busy time in our sector – nonprofits supporting children back in school, fundraising, and everyone barreling towards the end of the year.
When you fold in the pent-up energy of people wanting to reconnect after two hard years of separation, it’s more intense than usual. In many ways, it also feels like we are having to re-learn what it means to bring people together and how to be in those spaces.
Over the summer, we’ve been featuring video profiles of nonprofits that support young people, both in and out of school. These include programs like Baton Rouge Early Childhood Education Collaborative, which provides at-home learning tools for parents and caregivers, and LSUA’s SPERO program, which is helping students with developmental disabilities access higher education.
This school year will be critical and stressful for educators and support staff. In addition to the regular challenges of an educational environment, schools are now tasked with meeting the lost learning and mental health challenges of students emerging from a worldwide pandemic.
After two years of learning in isolation, our students are also learning how to be together again.
In that spirit, we are especially proud to share with you the story of our grantee partners at the Center for Resilience and their play-based mental health program, Preventing Long Term Anger and Aggression in Youth (PLAAY).
PLAAY is helping young people navigate trauma and learn how to build healthy adaptive and coping strategies.
These foundational mental health skills will serve students well into the future, setting them up for greater success in academics, career development, and civic participation – three powerful contributors to health later in life.
As with all of our grantee partners (and as you will see in the news story we are sharing below), we are especially excited to link great ideas with practitioners in other region of the state. If you ever see a program like PLAAY that you think would work in your hometown and want to explore a grant with us, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
President, Blue Cross Foundation
Head of Community Relations