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08.24.2016

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Play Your Part This Back to School Season

School bells are ringing, bus stops are flourishing, and friends are eager to mingle. While the start of a new school year is exciting for many students, this time of year often highlights uncertainty for others.

When it’s back-to-school for your community, don’t underestimate the power of a simple gesture: a smile, a reassuring note, or a “thank you” can mean the world. By practicing mindfulness and being a familiar face, you may have the ability to turn someone’s day around, without even knowing it.

By nourishing healthy relationships between adolescents and adults, everyone benefits. We are all striving to be a part of something bigger, and together we can accomplish more. 

Check out this short clip, courtesy of The Atlanta Speech School, emphasizing the importance of positive communication between adults and children. In only four minutes, the video titled “Every Opportunity” summarizes how to frame the back-to-school season as a period of empowerment, not vulnerability.

At CASA, we work with abused and neglected youth who have been placed in state care. Imagine starting your first day of school with no one to drop you off or introduce you to your teacher.  Our CASA Advocates help their child feel comfortable in their new school.  More than that, many of the children in the foster care system don’t get the opportunity for new backpacks and show up to school without the required supplies – immediately making them an outsider.  CASA Advocates, with the help of our donors, brought new backpacks full of school supplies to many of our children, helping make their first day of school a success.

Foster children change living placements frequently, which often means changing schools; at each new school, he/she is again the “new kid.” With each move, the child must likely reform social circles, confidants and reestablish a stable support system. While it takes a village to raise a child, it only takes one person to make a difference.  Our CASA Advocates are often the only familiar face for children in the system – and are there to make each transition easier by ensuring that the new school has the right records, advocating for tutoring and other educational services, and more. 

Children with a CASA volunteer do much better in school than children without a CASA volunteer. In a random sampling of 50 children with CASA volunteers, we saw a 78% improvement in children’s grades once they had a CASA volunteer.  Consider making a difference by learning more about volunteering or consider donating to CASA to support the hard work of our volunteers!

Play Your Part This Back to School Season