Caring for the Caregivers: BOCES Thanks the Regional Crisis Team Members

Pictured above: Regional Crisis Team members display inspirational plaques they were given in gratitude at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES.

Throughout the school year, members of the Regional Crisis Team stand ready to assist students, teachers and staff throughout the region who are affected by traumatic or tragic events in their school districts.

This week, Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES thanked the team members with inspirational plaques created by students in Sandy Hook and Ridgefield, Connecticut, who belong to Club Comfort, a not-for-profit organization that provides plaques to help students, patients and trauma victims through challenging times. Club Comfort is an offshoot of the Comfort Dogs program, which sends comfort dogs to schools, hospitals and disaster areas.

The plaques were cut, sanded and given a base coat of paint by BOCES’ Tech Center students in the carpentry and auto body programs this spring. The blank plaques were then given to Club Comfort students in Sandy Hook and Ridgefield who painted scenes and inspirational messages on them such as: “Shine Bright,” “Believe in Yourself,” “Reach for the Sky,” “Keep Your Chin Up.”

“I hope you can see the love that was poured into the plaques and how much you are appreciated,” said Jen Marr of the Comfort Dogs program. Marr said creating the plaques to help others in need helps those who have suffered loss to heal themselves.

The Regional Crisis Team, which is composed primarily of psychologists, social workers and guidance counselors, is often activated to respond when there has been a death in a school district. Counselors volunteer their time to be on site to provide additional counseling support. The Regional Crisis Team was started at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES in 1999.

BOCES Assistant Superintendent Lynn Allen thanked the team members for their contributions saying, “The extremely generous acts of kindness that you so freely offer to schools in need is nothing less than heroic.”