Welcome to our Back to School Edition of Tara's Talks!
We want to thank all the volunteers and donors who made our Back to School drive a success! We were able to offer 65 backpacks full of supplies, masks, and gift cards to help prepare students for school in the "new normal."

That said, there is nothing ordinary about what we face as a community. This edition of Tara's Talks aims to support children and families as they face the new school year's harsh reality during COVID.

In this edition of Tara's Talks, you will find:
  1. Tara's Talks Featured Author, Julia Tannenbaum writes about returning to college - a must read for the college-aged kids in your life!
  2. "My Hero is You", a free e-book for children impacted by COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Articles and resources about mental health
  4. Tips for Parents who worry about their kids as they return to in-person school
  5. Teen Competition announced:A fun chance to compete with your friends and do good for the community!

We hope you enjoy reading Tara's Talks. Please know that we see you, we are in this together, and we hope this newsletter finds you well.

Stay well,
Barbara Roth, Founder
Tara's Closet
Find What Works for You
By Julia Tannenbaum

"When I started college one year ago, the world was a much different place. Stores and restaurants were booming, handshakes and hugging were commonplace, sneezes were met with “bless yous” and not suspicious side-eyes, and no one wore a mask. I remember at one point during Orientation, the lobby of the freshmen dormitory was packed with so many people that we were literally on top of each other. And we didn’t think twice about it..."
The scale and impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is difficult for adults to wrap their minds around, much less children. But young people still have questions, and they are looking to adults to help them understand what is happening.
The coronavirus is not only affecting physical health but mental health as well. Our mission is to educate and raise awareness about mental health, so we wanted to share some articles that may affirm the way you may have been feeling.

by: Tara Haelle

by: Allison Gordon

by: Tom Jacobs


Jewish Family Services is not only the home of Tara's Closet but the home of nationally accredited mental health services. You can visit our web page for more information or call us at 860-236-1927.
We are here to answer your call.
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Tip #1:
Write a brief, comforting and empowering note for each child to look at if they need pick me up in the first few days/weeks back at school.
Tip #2:
Practice role playing scenarios with your child to build confidence in respectfully asking another child for space and physical distance (2+ arms from each other) while they play.
Many kids won't know how to kindly ask for space if they feel someone is too close for comfort, and this can reduce anxiety (for them and the parents!)
Tip #3:
Have your child take a shower and change clothing upon returning from school.
In proud partnership with Jewish Teen Learning Connect, Jewish Family Services and Tara's Closet announces a new virtual community competition:
Mitzvah Tank
Have you seen the show Shark Tank? 
Well, get ready for a Shark Tank-style competition, but for the good of the community! We need your help re-imagining how Tara's Closet can serve clients safely during the pandemic and in the future. This is your chance to compete against your friends in teams to design an innovative solution to pitch to our panel of sharks!

Tara's Closet comprises a dual mission: (1) to provide clothing to clients in a confidential and dignified manner, and (2) to raise funds to spread awareness about mental illness.

Thank you for reading. We hope you found Tara's Talks an enjoyable way to bring mental health into the open. We couldn't do this important work without your support.