October  2016 Newsletter
Fall is in full swing and so are things at Rainbows HQ! Here's an update on what's been happening in Evanston and around the country...
Two New Tools  for Facilitators

The Facilitator Dashboard is a new operating system we have implemented to keep all Rainbows information and resources centralized for everyone. Facilitators will be sent a link to log on to the site and create a Profile, enter information about their Site and groups, order trainings and materials, and be able to access resources such as the training, literature pertaining to grief and trauma, webinars, promotional tools, and more!

For questions or concerns about the Dashboard, please contact Zach Hamilton-Cotter, Community Outreach Coordinator at zach.hamilton-cotter@rainbows.org or 847-952-1770, Ext. 315.

Last Spring, we developed a new Assessment to determine the impact and effectiveness of the Rainbows program. Four sites agreed to be part of a pilot study to test the Pre- and Post-Test Survey Assessments. This process involved administering questionnaires to participants, parent/guardians, and Facilitators to fine-tune the surveys to ensure their efficacy and user-friendly status. The feedback from those sites, and our external PhD data and research experts who consulted on this project, was instrumental in cultivating the final Assessment surveys. A huge thank you to the pilot sites: The National Council for Jewish Women in Livingston, NJ; Maine East High School in Park Ridge, IL; Christopher's House in Chicago, IL; and Church of the Holy Spirit in Stamford, CT. We now have a finished product! Beginning immediately, every Facilitator must complete Pre- and Post-Test Survey Assessments for at least one group per year!

For questions or concerns about the Assessment, please contact Laura Lindroth, Director of Community Outreach at laura.lindroth@rainbows.org or 847-952-1770, Ext. 312.
Are you a Rainbows Facilitator? Join our Facebook group!
Rainbows Facilitators : there is now a Facebook Group just for you! This is a place for you to exchange information, support one another, and share insights. Even though it is a private (closed) group, please respect the confidentiality of your group when you share information. We hope this will be a fun way for you to connect with one another! Use this link to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1600153930286320/

Meet this quarter's Featured Facilitators!
July: Amy Allen
Amy is a Facilitator at Maine East High School in Park Ridge, IL where she has been running both Spectrum Levels I and II at the high school since 2013. As those of you who work with teenagers can likely attest, working with this age group can pose unique challenges at times. Amy takes it all in stride, however, and her students adore her. Many of them have expressed a tremendous amount of gratitude for her work with them in their Rainbows groups. 

Amy is always willing to help with anything asked of her from Rainbows. This past spring, she was one of a handful of Facilitators who participated in our pilot test of the Program Assessments to help us develop Facilitator, Participant, and Parent/Guardian Pre- and Post-Test Surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of the Rainbows program. Amy goes above and beyond with her work in Rainbows and for that we want to say, "thank you!" 
August: Nancy Vargo
For over 25 years, Nancy has been serving the community of Mount Carmel, Illinois in many ways, including using Rainbows for All Children curriculum to help grieving children. She was able to work with many different children during her time working as a Wabash County health employee, both at the elementary and middle school level. She is now able to use the curriculum in her position as a Social Worker at South Elementary School in Mount Carmel.
 
Nancy feels passionate about Rainbows and what it can do in a child's life, better equipping them to express their feelings and providing reassurance that they are not alone in their journey. She remembers the story of a girl in one of her groups who thought that the situation in her family was her fault. After learning in a Rainbows group that the sudden change was not her fault, she was able to feel much better about her circumstances and continue processing through her grief.
September: Anna Marie Yates
Dr. Anna Marie Yates is a Professor and Counselor Educator at National Louis University and has been a Facilitator since 1990. After originally being trained as a School Counselor at Elk Grove High School, she now leads groups at Faith Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. As a professor, she has encouraged her students to take the Rainbows training to not only expose future counselors to the many benefits of Rainbows curriculum, but also to increase awareness of Rainbows programming. 

Anna Marie enjoys seeing the positive changes that occurs in children's lives because of their time spent in a Rainbows group. One such example that she remembers most is a teenage girl whose mother had passed away. Although the girl was very quiet in the first few meetings, she eventually became an active participant, and later became a Rainbows Facilitator as an adult. 
Have someone in mind to be a Featured Facilitator? 
Each month, we will spotlight a Facilitator who has been particularly outstanding. Facilitators around the country go to great lengths to help grieving children and we want to recognize them and their efforts! Each Featured Facilitator receives a care package from Rainbows with a Target gift card and other goodies as a token of our appreciation. We recognize how hard our Facilitators work and are so grateful for the countless hours and dedication they give to this volunteer position. Without them, Rainbows would not exist!
 
Below is the link to nominate a Facilitator (self-nominations are welcome, too). Feel free to share this form with participants or parents at a Site as well; anyone is encouraged to nominate Facilitators. The form can be filled out online, returned via email to info@rainbows.org, or by mail to the Rainbows office in Evanston. 
 
Click here  for the Facilitator Nomination Form!

Mount Carmel, IL: Helping grieving children for over 25 years!

Mount Carmel is a small rural township in Southern Illinois. Although the township may be small, the community is quite strong. Nancy Vargo, August's Featured Facilitator, said, "We really have dwindled down to about 7500, [but] we have a really good network." This network has played a big part in allowing Rainbows to flourish and help children in the community for many years. 

In 1990, the Director of the Wabash County Health Department Behavioral Health Agencies, Mike Henry, allowed Nancy to become a face within the schools advocating for mental health, utilizing Rainbows curriculum. This began a community collaboration, which allowed schools and agencies to share resources, helping more children than would have otherwise been possible. 

Rainbows has had a presence in the community not only in the public schools, and the Wabash County Health Department, but also in St. Mary's Catholic School. Kathy Noll was the person who originally trained Nancy Vargo at St. Mary's. Since that point, over two decades ago, Rainbows has continued to spread throughout the community. 

The Wabash Community Unit School District #348 now has social workers in each school building. These social workers are able to help children through Rainbows groups and family resource referrals. They have seen the strength and versatility of Rainbows in their community 

All of us at Rainbows HQ want to thank the community of Mount Carmel for their many years of commitment to helping children!
Colorful Mountain of Change!

The game mat for Mountain of Change is now in color instead of black and white! Mountain of Change is an activity appropriate for ages 14-18 that allows the player to see aspects of their situation as challenges to overcome, rather than just obstacles in their way.

Click  here  to order the new and improved Mountain of Change today!
Giving Tuesday, an internationally recognized day to donate to charitable organizations, is on November 29th  this year. Please remember Rainbows for All Children on this day and encourage friends and family to give a donation to support grieving children. More information will be coming on this soon!

Membership with the National Alliance for Grieving Children
This month, we've tuned in for several educational webinars offered by the National Alliance for Grieving Children, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the needs of youth experiencing loss and providing resources to those that support them. The online lessons teach innovative approaches to dealing with children's grief, how grief is experienced in different cultures, tips for self-care and more. While some are free for anyone to attend, others are only free for members. If you're interested in a membership, there are three options: 
  1. $40 for volunteers (Facilitators fall under this category);
  2. $80 for professionals; and 
  3. $200+ for an organization (a Site might wish to choose this option).
Rainbows for All Children | 847-952-1770 | info@rainbows.org | www.rainbows.org
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