A recent national survey released by the AFT and the New York Life Foundation has found that 75% of educators are in strong agreement that social and emotional support for students has never been more important — and the same percentage says that COVID-19 has opened their eyes to the immense impact of grief and loss.

Among the other findings: Only 15% of educators feel very comfortable addressing students’ emotional needs that have been caused or intensified by the coronavirus outbreak.

“COVID-19 is powerfully and poignantly illustrating the challenges our nation’s educators already faced in confronting grief in the classroom each and every day,” said Heather Nesle, president of the New York Life Foundation. “As the need grows, we all have a critical role to play in providing greater bereavement support to students wherever and however our school communities come together.”

The New York Life Foundation has partnered with the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement to create online materials specific to COVID-19. They are available here.

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