Winter 2017 Newsletter
** IMPORTANT New Developments**
  • Illinois educators and social workers can now earn 8 professional development/continuing education hours for completing the Rainbows online training. Those in other states may be able to show the IL approval to their certifying facility and also obtain those hours. Let us know if you need assistance with this.
  • If you purchase a facilitator training for a volunteer who leaves your site less than one year after the purchase date, our new "One Year Policy" will allow you to transfer that training to a new (replacement) facilitator at no additional cost. Just call us to make the switch!
  • Our project to update the Prism parent program manual is on hold while we continue to seek the $10K project funding needed for it. 
  • Please let us know of any changes to your site, facilitator or group by updating your Facilitator Dashboard pages at Only active Facilitators will be able to log in; please contact us if you need assistance. 
  • You must have completed the online training and be fully certified to access the entire Facilitator Dashboard.
  • All facilitators must complete the August 2015 training to remain active. If you have not re-certified, please contact us immediately!
Contact: 847-952-1770, Ext. 315
The Religious Supplement Has Returned!

An updated, electronic (pdf) version of the Rainbows Religious S upplement is now available  for $15.  This 67-page booklet is for sites who wish to incorporate a religious component into their meetings. The Religious Supplement tailors with the program for Rainbows Levels I-IV in the Facilitator Manual and corresponding workbooks. You only need to purchase one copy per site, to be downloaded and printed as needed. Click here for the order page.

Facilitator Instructions for Group Assessments

One of the responsibilities of being a Rainbows facilitator is to complete a pre- and post-test survey assessment of at least one group each year. This will help us obtain essential data we need in order to evaluate the impact of the Rainbows program and demonstrate to school districts and administrators, funders, and agencies that we are an evidence-based, researched program.

The full assessment includes pre- and post-test surveys for the facilitator(s), participants and (optionally) a parent/guardian. The surveys can be completed one of three ways: online in the Facilitator Dashboard, via a link found in the Facilitator Dashboard that can be emailed to participants and/or a parent/guardian, or by filling out a printable paper (pdf) form*.
Only facilitators who are certified with the new online training will be able to access the Assessments, which can be found under "Resources" in the Facilitator Dashboard. So please be sure to complete your certification as soon as possible!

For detailed instructions, please click here.

*If the paper form is printed and filled out, the facilitator will need to manually enter the data into the online form on the Facilitator Dashboard. To protect confidentiality, we ask that you please not mail in forms.
Resources , Resources, Resources!

To support our families and children, and our Rainbows facilitators, we will continually be adding lots of new resources. Currently, there are
three places to find various resources:

1. The Resources page of the Rainbows website (
a. Links to websites for additional grief support and information; and
b. Books and other literature recommendations for families and children.
2. The Resources page of the Facilitator Dashboard* (
a. Important announcements for facilitators;
b. The downloadable, electronic (pdf) Facilitator Manual;
c. Assessment materials; and
d. Promotional materials
3. The Resource Center of the Facilitator Training*(
a. The downloadable, electronic (pdf) Facilitator Manual;
b. Promotional materials;
c. Alternate activities and activity resources;
d. Consent forms, policies, and other forms;
e. Discussion boards;
f. Transcripts from the training modules; and
g. Literature references and other information on grief-related topics.

Please note that all of these areas are "works-in-progress," so check back frequently for new developments and additional tools and information!

accessible ONLY to active Rainbows facilitators

  Great Group Activity for Winter Months

Relaxation Rock (aka "Child's Pose")
Purpose: This activity teaches children a coping skill for times that they may feel angry or out of control. It is designed to re-center the child's emotion, increase body awareness, improve breathing and encourage calmness.
Age: Appropriate for any age level
Materials: Each child needs his or her own space on the floor.
Instructions: Start with having each child find a space on the floor that is not within arm's length of anyone else.
  • First, have the children sit on their knees and take one deep breath in, while stretching their hands up into the air above their heads.
  • With the next breath, have them fold their body down over their knees and get into a fetal position with their legs tucked under their body. Their arms should be by their sides, resting on the floor near their legs, palms facing up. They can rest their forehead on the floor as well. Instruct them to try to completely relax.
  • Have them take a few long, deep breaths and encourage them to let go of any tension/tightness and relax their bodies. If you want to make this exercise slightly longer, and get a deeper relaxation, you can work your way down the body encouraging them to relax various parts of their body (ex: "try to completely relax your forehead and the muscles of your face").
  • Now have them imagine that they are a rock at the bottom of a river. Describe the water flowing over their smooth back, as they stay grounded on the river bottom without moving. Have the children focus on taking deep breaths in and releasing the breath out slowly. Continue to direct their focus to their breathing while having them notice that everything goes on around them as they are unaffected as a "rock".
  • After enough relaxation time has passed, have the children slowly sit up and remain seated on the floor in whatever position they choose for the following discussion questions.
How did you feel when they you were imagining yourself as a rock in the river?
Did your body feel relaxed or tense?
Could you feel yourself relax certain parts of your body that were holding a lot of tension/tightness?
Can you think of times when you might use this skill to help stay calm when the "river" of life is flowing hard and fast around you?
Discuss how it is important to recognize when their body feels tense/tight and angry. Emphasize that this is normal, but something they must be aware of. Encourage the children to talk about times they get angry and how this activity may help calm their bodies and allow for them to feel better, or help to manage their anger.

    Going for GOLD!

Rainbows for All Children was recently awarded GuideStar Gold status! 

Thank you to all those who work hard to keep our nonprofit successfully operating so we can help as many youth as possible. 

If you would like to contribute to this worthwhile cause, please click here.

Featured Article Topic this Quarter: TRAUMA
Click here for article 1 and here for article 2
 Spotlight on Rainbows Australia 

Rainbows Australia is oceans away from our Illinois headquarters, but unfortunately even vast distance does not prevent children from grieving. It can happen anywhere.
Since the initiation of Rainbows for All Children in Australia, over 30 years ago, the program has grown to seven of the country's eight states and territories. Existing sites have seen consistent growth in the numbers of facilitators and participants over the years.
While Rainbows Australia stems from the  program developed in 1983 by U.S. Rainbows' Founder, Suzy Yehl Marta, the overseas' staff has since adapted the program to better fit the culture and needs of their youth. This included changing some of the wording and views on family structure, as well as creating a version of
Silver Linings especially  for indigenous communities. The
Silver Linings program, also designed by Ms. Yehl Marta, is an immediate crisis response program following community or large-scale disasters.
Paul Worsnop, National Manager, and Gemma Schooneveldt, National Board Secretary, of Rainbows Australia, explain that they operate as a harm-prevention organization that works as a proactive approach to family wellbeing. Like the U.S., the program is run almost entirely by volunteers.
Both Mr. Worsnop and Ms. Schooneveldt have witnessed the impact of Rainbows on young participants. In the evaluation process of their programs, they have heard children give powerful testimonials about how their time at Rainbows helped them cope with life, aid peers and gain confidence. "Meeting these children and seeing this impact is the best part of Rainbows," they report.
Mr. Worsnop and Ms. Schooneveldt are constantly working to make Rainbows Australia a better program for participants, parents, and facilitators. Currently, they are focusing on making facilitator training more accessible, keeping alumni engaged in the Rainbows "family," and providing program feedback.
Great job, Rainbows Australia! We are proud to have you as part of the Rainbows community.
Check out the NEW Rainbows Sites!
Join us in welcoming the 26 Rainbows sites 
that have joined since July:
  • Academy for Global Citizenship- Chicago, IL 
  • BMP Special Education Cooperative- Tiskilwa, IL 
  • Central Middle School- Evergreen Park, IL 
  • Charles Olbon Elementary- Woodland Park, NJ
  • Children's Home Society of Florida- Kissimmee, FL
  • Christ UMC/Mending Hearts Grief Center- College Station, TX
  • Coordinated Youth & Human Services- Granite City, IL
  • Cossitt Avenue School- LaGrange, IL 
  • Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia, Inc.- Macon, GA
  • Eagle Pointe Elementary School- Joliet, IL 
  • East Palo Alto Schools- Belmont, CA
  • Epiphany Catholic School- Normal, IL 
  • Hickory Flat Elementary School- Canton, GA
  • Holy Family Holy Name School- New Bedford, MA
  • Holy Spirit Catholic Church- Atlanta, GA
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary School- Atlanta, GA 
  • Jane's Place, Inc. Child Advocacy Center- Cumberland, MD
  • Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy- Lansing, MI
  • Mosaic Therapy- Morton Grove, IL
  • Peace Lutheran Ministries- Saginaw, MI
  • Pope Francis Globe Academy- Chicago, IL
  • Princesses on a Mission- Windsor, NC
  • Saint Jerome School- West Long Beach, NJ
  • St. James/Seton Catholic School- Omaha, NE
  • Wolcott School- Thornton, IL 
  • Woodrow Wilson School- Weehawken, NJ
We are so happy to see our Rainbows family growing!
Are you a Rainbows Facilitator? 
Join our Facebook group!

Rainbows Facilitators : there is now a private 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 confidentiality when you share information specific to your site participants. We hope this will be a fun way for you to connect with one another. 

Click here to join today! 

Meet This Quarter's Featured Facilitators!
Anni Crouch
Facilitator Anni Crouch has been running groups in Australia for nearly a decade. As an elementary and high school chaplain, industry peers who witnessed Rainbows' impacts on grieving children introduced her to the program. Only a year after she began her chaplaincy in 2007 she started a Rainbows group at Melville Senior High School.
Since her start as a facilitator, she has learned to make her groups a safe space for participants to share their feelings. Sometimes this means adapting planned sessions for individualized needs. Her training as a chaplain and former teacher help her serve as a leader who can mix the heavy subjects of Rainbows with crucial lighthearted bonding moments for participants.
This bonding is, for Anni, the most important part of Rainbows. Through the years she has formed meaningful connections with the grieving children in her groups.
Anni has also helped her participants feel comfortable at Rainbows. She adjusts the program materials written in the United States to make it more culturally relatable for her Australian students.
"When students feel comfortable and ready to share they will," Anni says as advice for other facilitators. "Give them as much time as possible to talk instead of cutting them off to fit the curriculum in. Help them feel heard. Then they feel that they're valued and that they're growing."
Mike and Marie Meriton
A flier  posted in a New Jersey church was the start of Marie and Michael Meriton's nearly decade-long relationship with Rainbows for All Children (Rainbows).
Curious to see what the program was all about, the power couple became Facilitators in 2007 and were soon asked to run the entire program. Under their leadership, the program doubled in size and they added Spectrum (the high school level) and Prism (a group for separated, divorced, or widowed parents) programs to reach even more grieving families.  
But in 2012, disaster hit their town and church in the form of Hurricane Sandy. The Meritons, like many others in the area, were heavily impacted. They moved to Monmouth County, bringing Rainbows with them.
They began building "Monmouth Rainbows" at Church of the Precious Blood in Monmouth Beach in 2015. After six months of recruiting and training facilitators and finding participants, the program officially began to run that September with 10 participants. Now, just over a year later, there are nearly 40.
The more word got out about their Site, the more calls they got from other parts of their county asking for Rainbows to help their grieving families. Recently they worked with Rainbows for All Children staff at headquarters to submit a grant proposal and were awarded funding to expand the program across Monmouth County, both supporting three existing Sites and creating three new ones. 
The Meritons have gone above and beyond the role of Facilitator. They have used their free time to make certain Rainbows' healing reaches beyond their town and into the grasp of all families who are grieving.
Do you 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!
Click here 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, or by mail to the Rainbows office in Evanston at 1007 Church St., Ste. 408, Evanston, IL 60201.

Rainbows for All Children | 847-952-1770 | |