SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – When traumatic events happen to children in your care, it can be difficult to know where to turn to help your family heal. Many caregivers do not know how to breach difficult subjects that they themselves are often still processing. Michelle Stinson, the Springfield youth librarian, said, “Families in distress often turn to the library for guidance. We needed a caring and thoughtful response to help families through these stressful and often confusing situations.”
The Healing Library was identified as a resource that we could provide to the community ensuring any family is able to access support that is specific to an event. Building Bright Futures, in collaboration with the library, began working to provide this resource to the community in order to better support families in Springfield.
The Healing Library kits were the brainchild of a team of professionals who determined a need to assist families after periods of trauma that encompassed many forms of healing. They recognize that families are unique and deserve the opportunity to build their own journey of healing with the highest quality experiences and materials. Using their expertise of play therapy, social work, literacy, and child development, the team created kits to help families heal. Each kit consists of specific books, crafts, activities, and a guide with tips on how to discuss these difficult subjects with children.
Armed with their guidance, BBF Regional Coordinator, Ellen Taetzsch started gathering materials for the kits. She included creative supplies such as stamps, scissors, watercolor paints and paper, beads, cards, and loads of special tools for creative exploration. “I wanted to include an array of materials so that all families with children a variety of ages could find healing in these kits. We know that supporting families to create relationships within the family and community, identify coping strategies, and work through their trauma helps create a resilient community, benefiting all.”
The books were purchased by the Friends of the Springfield Town Library, the discussion and activities guides were downloaded and printed at the library. The Healing Library Kits that the Springfield Town Library currently have are: Death of a Loved One, Death of a Pet, and Alzheimer’s and Your Family.
Springfield Town Library cardholders are able to check these kits out just like other library materials. Area providers and agencies also have access to these kits. Please contact the library if you are interested in borrowing a kit. Call 802-885-3108 or go to www.springfieldtownlibrary.org.