- This event has passed.
Giving Tuesday 2021
November 30, 2021
It costs approximately $400 to pay for a 4-week group of up to 8 children dedicated to building these important skills, and have currently scheduled four groups between January and February 2022. This Giving Tuesday our goal is to raise $1600 to support 32 children attending four Kid Connections: Building Social Skills Through Theraplay groups at no charge to their families. Funds raised above and beyond that will go to support children’s access to future clinic Theraplay groups (including a summer camp planned for 2022).
For just $50, you can sponsor a child ages 5-8 to attend a 4-week group and set them up for a more successful future at no charge to their family. Will you help us to do this important work to change lives?
The recent global pandemic has wreaked havoc on many of our lives. For a period of time in 2020 and continuing into 2021, many of us have been unable to visit friends, family, or go to work in person. Many have been forced to turn to screens and devices (if we even had them available!) to meet our need to connect and socialize.
This was detrimental for many adults, feeling the lack of in-person social connection. Have you noticed how this may have affected your young children? Early childhood is a vital time in a child’s development for making connections with peers and adults. It is at this time that children learn how to play cooperatively, develop prosocial behaviors, express their thoughts and feelings, build self-esteem, and learn to regulate themselves. Here at The Theraplay Institute and The Theraplay Clinic, parents have shared their concerns that their children are behind in their development of many of these skills.
During the height of the pandemic staff clinician, Kirsten Rieck, led a weekly online group via video conferencing for adolescents with the intention of allowing them to build social connections with their peers. The group attracted youth with a variety of presenting issues: some were unfiltered and impulsive; some were withdrawn and shy; some were confident in sharing their thoughts and ideas; some were insecure and quiet in the group.
Over time, she began to observe these individuals and their relationships with each other change and grow. During one session, one of the more confident participants inquired about why one of her more withdrawn peers remained off-camera during our groups. The second participant shared that she felt embarrassed to show herself on camera. The group began sharing stories about their backgrounds, their likes and dislikes, their hopes for high school and beyond. By the end of the session, this withdrawn participant, who had never once shown her face in this virtual group, turned on her camera and showed her smiling face to her new group of friends.
Experiences like these have led us to believe it is time to begin in-person group work through The Theraplay Clinic. We have seen the power of positive peer connections, facilitated in a safe and supportive environment. We believe we can help the children in our community build these skills that have been delayed due to nationwide lockdowns. Through structured, engaging, nurturing, and challenging play with peers and our clinic therapists, our community can recover from this collective trauma we have faced together.