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Over the years, Tu Nidito, a nonprofit that specializes in providing — free of charge — emotional support to children, teens, young adults, and families impacted by the diagnosis of a serious medical condition or death of a loved one, has presented a workshop for educators on supporting children. The workshop has always had tremendous value, but it is even more urgent right now.
This year, Tu Nidito trainer Amanda Marks provided a workshop for all our early childhood and elementary students. Marks shared important statistics about how many children in Arizona experience the death of a family member each year, underscoring the importance of this work.
Students in the workshop learn about grief at different stages of development (how children of different ages experience grief and understand death and dying or loss) and practical ways to talk to and support children of different ages in a developmentally appropriate way. The workshop includes a Q&A so students also have time to ask questions about children who are experiencing loss.
Assistant Professor of Practice Maura Varley Gutiérrez, who works with our preservice teachers and prepares students to address language, culture, and social justice in the classroom, notes the far-reaching effects of the workshop: “Students apply what they learn in their practicum, student teaching, and future teaching.”
One student said, "Thank you so much for the presentation. I learned a lot, especially about things I was wondering and didn't know where to ask. I was put in a situation a couple of weeks ago, and I didn't know what to do or say. Your presentation gave a clear answer to how to handle that situation. Thank you for that."
Another student said, "Thank you so much for your passion and preparation. I learned an incredible amount that I am already applying in my life, not just in the classroom. I loved the depth and realism."
Special thanks to Tu Nidito for providing such a wonderful service for our students and the community!