New York Life Foundation Partners with First Book To Bring Grief Books, Resources to Educators

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

New York Life Foundation Partners with First Book To Bring Grief Books, Resources to Educators

The New York Life Foundation today announced a new two-year partnership with First Book, a leading education nonprofit whose mission is to bring high-quality resources to educators serving children in need. The project will seek to increase access to bereavement books and resources among educators in underserved communities.

This two-year partnership will pair the New York Life Foundation's longstanding work in the childhood bereavement field with First Book's extensive network and experience with educators serving underserved communities over the past 25 years.

"Educators are increasingly called upon to support students not just academically, but socially and emotionally, particularly when they have experienced grief or trauma," said Maria Collins, vice president, New York Life Foundation. "Through this partnership, educators will have access to books and resources to better support, elevate and acknowledge grief in schools. This initiative leverages the power of reading and brings needed attention to a public issue that will impact one in 15 children before the age of 18."

In a 2012 survey conducted by the American Federation of Teachers and the New York Life Foundation, 92 percent of educators stated that grief was a serious problem that deserves more attention. Additionally, more than 90 percent of First Book member educators responding to a survey in 2016 indicated they lacked age-appropriate, relevant books and resources to address issues affecting their students, including childhood bereavement. 

"When children are in trauma, their teachers are often the first to recognize it," said Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO, and co-founder of First Book. "The realities of living in low-income neighborhoods expose children to trauma and loss that no one – especially kids – should have to face...

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