We have been at the forefront of building social-emotional resilience in communities around the world since 2004.
Currently, we offer four core programs based on our body-centered methodology that affords an entry point for many different sectors of the community. Our primary focus is to build capacity for effective response in schools, hospitals and social service agencies, and to train first responders and other caregivers.
Beginning in early 2015, we refocused our educational efforts to serve local communities in Connecticut and other nearby states with strategic plans in place to expand across the region, nation and globe. Our commitment will be reinforced by expanding our faculty of trainers and by developing cutting edge digital training materials.
Our programs support those with whom we work directly while creating a ripple effect, ultimately forging broader communities built on resilience and compassionate care.
School Resiliency Program
The School Resiliency Program trains students and teachers in our unique body-centered, social-emotional development tools. In 2016, using the PLAYshop School Curriculum which aligns our methodology to the Common Core Standards in use across the country, we launched a pilot initiative in Connecticut schools.
In November, we completed the first training session with teachers and principals immediately impacting over a thousand students across nine schools. Supported by our PLAYshop Faculty, the group was introduced to our methodology and shown how it could benefit themselves, their staff and students. Since then, PLAYshop Mentors have conducted in-school PLAYshops with students to guide school leaders to successfully implement the methodology on their own.
To further assist this process and prepare for expansion, we also began to develop the Digital PLAYshop Resource Center.
STORIES FROM THE SCHOOL
Caring for the Caregivers
It is not uncommon for caregivers to think of their own well-being last, leaving them vulnerable, frequently overworked and less effective in their casework. As a result, many dedicated caregivers our communities employ experience burnout, leaving gaps in services while those in need are left with inconsistent, sporadic care.
Led by our Second Response Core Faculty, the Caring for the Caregivers program provides support and innovative training for caregivers exposed to recurring stress and trauma. Over the course of the 16-hour multi-session curriculum, participants gain new and effective ways to manage their own experiences resulting in better care for the thousands they serve.
In 2016, we launched the first Caring for the Caregivers with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s Center for Youth and Families in Torrington, Connecticut. With the strong support of the Clinical Manager, Joan Neveski, LCSW, twelve of the Center’s staff completed the training, positively impacting all of the participants, strengthening the workplace culture and ultimately benefiting the broader communities they serve.
MEET NEW FACULTY
Introductory Community PLAYshops
Introductory Community PLAYshops provide an ideal opportunity to experience our work and unique approach to managing stress and trauma. Many of these programs are open to the general public while some are scheduled by special request of a sponsoring organization.
In 2016, we conducted the following Introductory Community PLAYshops:
• Grace Farms, CT
• Washington Montessori School, CT
• Shore Corps Youth Internship Program, NY
• Regional Crisis Team of Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Putnam/Northern Westchester, NY
• HARC’s Stepping Stones Birth-to-Three staff retreat, CT
• Newtown Resiliency Center summer camps, CT
PLAYSHOP FACILITATOR TRAINING
With the rapid growth and increasing demand for our programs, we responded in 2016 by building our capacity to reach as many people as possible through our work.
In November, we held the first PLAYshop Facilitator Training to prepare new facilitators to support the School Resiliency Program and Introductory Community PLAYshop events locally, and eventually, across the country.
During the four-day intensive program held in Bantam, Connecticut, we trained fifteen new facilitators, adding them to the Second Response Facilitator roster. Based in the Northeast, South and West Coast, these individuals can be activated at any time for regular events, or if ever needed, to respond to a disaster in their own communities.
We plan to host additional PLAYshop Facilitator Trainings twice each year during this phase of rapid growth.
Letter From OUR President
Dear Second Response Friends,
WELCOMING NEW BOARD MEMBERS
What a groundbreaking year this has been! We must say at the outset that none of this work could have happened without your amazing support.
After thirteen years of sharing our unique resilience strategies with communities around the world impacted by disasters, we recognize the need to make these same skills available in our own country. In 2016, we designed four core programs to achieve this end. We have made tremendous progress with the development of new curricula, each aimed to impact different sectors of our communities.
- The School Resiliency Program has been aligned to the Common Core Standards for effortless integration into the school day. The launch of this program was overwhelmingly well-received as teachers, principals and students all experienced the unique value of our methodology.
- The Caring for the Caregivers model has been successfully launched in a local hospital with incredible reviews that resulted in inspiring leaders in the community to invite us to conduct this program for the staff of the largest homeless shelter in Northwest Connecticut in 2017.
- Our Introductory Community PLAYshops have been conducted for agencies and youth summer programs across the region.
- We trained and welcomed fifteen new facilitators from the first graduating class of the PLAYshop Facilitator Training program.
As we respond to the rapid growth and increasing demand for all of our programs, we express our heartfelt gratitude for the many donors and volunteers who have helped bring our mission to life. You truly are making a remarkable difference in the lives of children and caregivers at a time when increased distress and trauma are so evident in everyday life.
Thank you for all you have done to make a difference in our efforts, and we hope to see you soon in a PLAYshop!
In Health and Peace,
William Spear, President
In gratitude from second response
We recognize all of those who honored our organization with gifts in 2016 to help us accomplish our mission to support children and caregivers!
Amazon Smile Foundation
Arbella Insurance Group
Jennifer and John Bauman
Elaine Bentley Baughn
Bragg Health Institute
The Community Foundation
of Northwest Connecticut
Megan and Lawrence Foley
Foundation for Life
Anna and Ardian Gill
Gabriel de Haan
Holistic Health and Healing
Karen Frey Jacobs
Edward and Lucille Kimmel
and Curt Greer
Robert Labonne III
Elaine and Christopher Robedee
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Tracy and Timothy Stuart
Szekely Family Foundation
Marlene and William Tara
Vivian Van Bladel