SARASOTA, FL – Hershorin Schiff Community Day School recently received a “Stronger Together” grant of $20,000 from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee to help fund an on-staff guidance counselor. The private Jewish day school, serving students of all faiths from preschool through eighth grade, applied for the funding to support its social and emotional learning efforts, especially as students are facing unprecedented stresses and uncertainties related to COVID-19.
A guidance counselor will be a critical component in re-engaging Community Day School’s students in the coming school year, aiding families and staff, rebuilding relationships, and continuing to provide a strong foundation for academic learning. Prior to COVID-19, research had shown that one out of every four children attending school had been exposed to a traumatic event that could affect their learning and/or behavior. This number has grown exponentially as the pandemic has triggered pre-existing traumas, adversity and disparities, grief, fear and anxiety, and a host of factors still unknown as to the extent of their significant and long-lasting effects.
“A comprehensive, trauma-informed approach will be essential to our school community feeling safe and supported, not only during times of uncertainty but also continuing through to when the pandemic is safely behind us,” said Head of School Dan Ceaser. “We are grateful to the Jewish Federation for its support as we work to help students navigate through new hurdles, prepare them for uncertain futures, triage personal and family concerns, and provide guidance for their academic future.”
Community Day School hopes the new position will help to fill critical gaps in trauma-based care at the school. Through targeted and intentional interventions, a guidance counselor will play a crucial role in promoting success for all students, closing achievement gaps, and providing resource materials to teachers that will address the educational goals and emotional needs of students.
The objective of the Federation’s Stronger Together Fund is to provide funds to local Jewish organizations to fund emergency needs related to the COVID-19 crisis. Funds are being distributed based on the Federation’s funding priorities of food security, health and wellness, and operational subsidies related to pandemic-related costs and cash flow deficits.
About Hershorin Schiff Community Day School
The mission of the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School, which serves students in preschool through eighth grade, is to impact the world by creating a community where children of all faiths demonstrate integrity, academic excellence, and a desire to improve the world. Community Day offers a rigorous, project-based academic program in a diverse and vibrant learning environment rooted in the Jewish values of honesty, integrity, mutual trust and respect. For more information, visit the website at communityday.org or call (941) 552-2770.