The majority of children enrolled in Rainbow’s Programs have experienced adverse, traumatic conditions such as poverty, abuse or neglect that often develops into “toxic stress” which depletes their resiliency. If not addressed, prolonged toxic stress can have damaging effects on children’s brain architecture that often causes future difficulties in their learning, behavior, memory, self-esteem, and health.
Teachers cannot change the challenges children face. However, teachers can assist children with acquiring skills to work through their challenges. Working with children to ultimately become healthy, thriving adults is not about eliminating adversity, but rather providing children with strategies on how to deal with adversity. When children are resilient, they are braver, more curious, and adaptable.
At Rainbow, we help children strengthen their resilience by:
- Increasing their exposure to people who care about them
- Letting them know that it’s okay to ask for help
- Modeling healthy social behavior
- Developing their self-confidence
- Nurturing optimism and growth mindset
- Encouraging children to problem solve
Programs that Rainbow has implemented to reduce the effects of children’s toxic stress are:
A Resiliency Program entitled “The Power of Resiliency Bouncing Back and Forward”
Art Therapy and Music Therapy for young elementary students
A music series for preschool children
Young Lady Leadership Program for girls in grades 4-6
Art Lessons during the academic school year, school vacations, and summer for all school age children
Samples of The Power of Resiliency
Bouncing Back & Forward Program student activities
Each child received a pocket-sized rock and selected positive words. This rock serves as a reminder to them of their talents. Students carried it with them throughout their day.
Students created a personalized plan to manage their intense negative emotions and how to shift to positive feelings. Each finger represents a coping skill and they deemed the most important skill was in the palm of their hand.