Children are affected by the military actions in Ukraine, and here in Abbotsford. In this image, children and their companions from an orphanage in Odesa, Ukraine, wait for room allocation after their arrival at a hotel in Berlin, Friday, March 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Steffi Loos)

Children are affected by the military actions in Ukraine, and here in Abbotsford. In this image, children and their companions from an orphanage in Odesa, Ukraine, wait for room allocation after their arrival at a hotel in Berlin, Friday, March 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Steffi Loos)

Abbotsford School District offers help with navigating the news for children

District staff has collected resource materials that can help parents discuss world events with kids

The current conflict in Ukraine has prompted the Abbotsford School District to offer support to students as needed.

At the March 8 board of education meeting, board chair Stan Peterson thanked staff and management for providing help by way of sourcing resource material for both teachers and students as they “process this ongoing tragedy.”

“It’s difficult on many and I just can’t understand how difficult it must be on kids,” he said.

There are resources online for parents and caregivers to help navigate topics as well. The district has put together a list of resources on their website, under the News Stories tab, titled Talking About War and Conflict.

“This past week has been a difficult time with the invasion of Ukraine, Kevin Godden, superintendent of schools, wrote on March 2.

“Children, youth and even adults may experience a range of emotions when they hear about or see images and videos from these deeply upsetting events. I wanted to reach out to share available supports, should you find them of use.”

The resource he suggests include links to the American Psychological Association and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network among others. The links direct parents to articles written by professionals that offer age-related tips for parents and caregivers.

There are also school counsellors available to support students, as well as community support:

Short Term Assessment Response Treatment: 1-844-START1

Kid’s Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Fraser Health Crisis Line: 604-951-8855 or 1-877-820-7444 (toll-free)

Crisis Line for Indigenous Elders, Adults and Youth: 1-800-588-8717

Abbotsford Foundry

“I know that some in our community have ties to the impacted region and may be especially worried about their loved ones,” Godden wrote. “My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. While this continues to be an uncertain time for all, we will continue to do what we can to support our entire Abbotsford School District community, and we will continue to prioritize the mental health and the well-being of students, their families, teachers and staff.”

READ MORE: Kootenay teachers’ union makes a plea for Ukrainian children


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jessica.peters@abbynews.com

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