Week 0

My internship has not formally started because I have been busy captaining the BASIS girl’s basketball team, but this is a good opportunity to provide some background on my SP. My internship is at Tu Nidito, a local charity that provides grief support for children who have experienced the death or illness of someone close to them. I have been volunteering at Tu Nidito for more than a year now – I started in the Thursday 1 bereavement group, which meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month and supports kids who have had a loved one die, and about six months later I joined the Monday 1 CPC group, which meets on the first and third Mondays of the month and supports kids who have had parents diagnosed with cancer or another life-altering and life-threatening illness (CPC stands for “Children with a Parent with Cancer).

Before I began facilitating groups, I received a full day of training on grief, children, and Tu Nidito’s purpose. I also have other experience working with children – I babysit, tutor, and have been on BASIS’s Oregon trip three times, each time volunteering for a week as a counsellor at Camp Westwind, an outdoor science school. I’ll be going back to Oregon for a fourth time in April as part of this SP. It was the intersection of my Oregon and Tu Nidito experiences that first inspired this project – the methods of redirection and behavior modification that they teach are markedly different. Westwind’s training focused on keeping students engaged and participatory, with clear rules and consequences, while Tu Nidito’s focused on respecting student’s internal states and understanding their behavior as a part of their grieving process. The way that these different missions (education vs healing) lend themselves to different disciplinary styles immediately struck me, especially because kids can be part of both groups. I’m curious to explore how different ideas on behavior modification affect students’ behavior and how those techniques can be improved to support grieving students while still making them effective learners and members of their communities.

I start interning this Thursday!

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