In the last two weeks we have been repeatedly confronted with the legacy of gun violence and ongoing, communal trauma in this country. The three events in recent days have happened in the kinds of everyday places that should be safe — the grocery store, church, and school. How do we talk to children and adolescents about gun violence, racialized violence, and senseless tragedy? Parents and caregivers are helping their children process their feelings alongside their own, and signs of anxiety are different in children and adolescents when compared with adults. Pastoral care for children begins with pastoral care for their caregivers, and the resources below are offered to support parents and families—please share.
As the pandemic continues, and this week our nation struggles once more against the legacy of racial injustice and violence, our children look on.
Children and teens are experiencing the continued uncertainty of Covid and its impact on school, peer relationships, and future plans. Additionally, the events in Washington D.C. on January 6 were deeply disturbing and young people may feel anxiety, confusion, fear, sadness, or anger, and have questions about what they see and hear in the media and from friends. As parents, we’re holding space for our children’s feelings alongside our own anxiety, fury, and questions about moving forward. What follows are resources specifically for children, youth, and families.*
Following an extensive search process and interviews with several finalist candidates, PYM Youth Programs are delighted to welcome Aeryn Luminkith as the new Assistant in the Young Friends program. She will begin her work with Young Friends at their Christmas Gathering, December 27-30. We’re really pleased to welcome her to the staff team. Aeryn brings experience with teens and younger youth, has worked as a teaching assistant, art teacher, tutor, and photographer. During the interview process, Aeryn impressed us with her warmth and concern for inclusive youth community, and her interest in creating a balance in programming between playful and grounded energy.
From Aeryn: While working at Greene Street Friends School over the past year, as an after school program assistant and substitute TA, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for Quaker beliefs and values.The Quaker commitment to social justice and equality, where the voices of all community members carry the same weight, resonates very deeply with me. During my time at Greene Street, it has greatly influenced the ways that I interact with students, peers, and colleagues. I have multiple years of experience working with children and youth including two years working with high school students as a photography teacher and tutor in a non-profit youth center. I have also done LGBTQ advocacy work with non-profit organizations in this city. I strongly believe in supporting youth leadership and emotional development through fostering environments of mutual respect, understanding, and equal opportunities. Guiding youth to help them understand and dismantle systems of oppression is something that feels especially important to me, particularly when working with teens and young adults.
Young Friends program Facilitator Lori Sinitzky shared: “I’m excited to work with Aeryn as we plan and facilitate upcoming Young Friends gatherings together. Aeryn brings many gifts to our community, including experience with photography and a commitment to working with youth. I know we have fun times ahead!”