School Programs

Programs for Parents and Students

Helping Your Kids Cope With Stress (PTO /PTA Program)

"Rita's presentation to our parents on 'Kids and Stress' was very well-received. Rita helped them be able to identify stress triggers in their children, but more importantly provided very simple strategies to reduce them and be proactive in preventing them when they could. In these times when school budgets are tight, this was money very well spent! We are looking forward to having her back again!" ~ Lorinda C. Allen, Director of Curriculum & Student Assessment, Dudley-Charlton Regional School District

We like to think of childhood as a fun-filled, stress-free time in life. Truth be told? It isn't. Kids experience stress. Schoolwork, peer pressure, family issues can create pressures that can be overwhelming for kids.

As a parent, you can't protect your kids from stress, but you can help them develop healthy ways to cope with stress and solve everyday problems. We call that resilience.

In this presentation, resilience strategist Rita Schiano will address:

  • Talking with your child about what it's like to feel stress.
  • Techniques to help them recognize when their body is under stress
  • Ways to explore, uncover, and discover their stress triggers
  • Techniques for adopting and developing resilient skills and attitudes to:
    • managing their emotions
    • communicating their needs and their feelings
    • preparing them to deal with mistakes
    • developing healthy attitudes about themselves
  • Recognizing your own stress triggers
  • The effects of your stress on your children
Program time frame: 90-minute program.

For Parents: Building Empathy and Resilience In Your Kids  (PTO /PTA Program)

Children are capable of remarkable things. The potential for happiness lies in all of them, and will mean different things to different kids. While we can’t change the challenges they will face along the way in life, what we can do is give them the skills to meet these challenges; help them to develop the skills they need to flourish. We call these skills resilience.

Along with developing their resilience, we need to help them to understand others as if they are the other person. We call this empathy. Empathy is the one human capacity, wrote Maia Szalavitz and Bruce Perry in their book Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential—and Endangered, that “allows us to link minds and hearts across cultures and generations to transform our lives.”

Empathy can be fostered. Empathy is made up of teachable habits that can be developed and practiced. Research has shown that empathy promotes kindness, pro-social behaviors, and moral courage, and it is an effective antidote to bullying.

In this technologically-driven age where Selfies rule, our children are in danger of losing that sense of connectedness to others which is essential to forming strong and healthy human relationships.

In this presentation, resilience strategist Rita Schiano will address:

  • Techniques for adopting and developing resilient skills and attitudes to:
    • managing their emotions
    • communicating their needs and their feelings
    • preparing them to deal with mistakes
    • developing healthy attitudes about themselves
  • Techniques for building empathy
  • Modeling empathic behavior
  • Helping kids develop a moral identity
  • Developing a sense of self-awareness
  • How to distinguish one's own feelings from the feelings of others.
  • Taking another person’s perspective
Program time frame: 90-minute program.

For Kids: Let's Talk About Stress

Kids experience stress. Schoolwork, peer pressure, family issues can create pressures that can be overwhelming for kids. Helping kids  develop healthy ways to cope with stress and solve everyday problems it critical, and we do this through mindful practice and by building the skills and attitudes of resilience.

In this one-hour presentation, resilience strategist Rita Schiano will address:

  • Stress triggers for kids today

  • Techniques to help them recognize when their body is under stress

  • Ways to explore, uncover, and discover their stress triggers

  • Techniques for adopting and developing resilient skills and attitudes to:

    • managing their emotions

    • communicating their needs and their feelings

    • perfectionism vs excellence

    • fear of failure

    • developing healthy attitudes about themselves

  • Mindfulness practices

Program time frame: One-hour.