Guest Reader at the YMCA During School Vacation Week:
Leah Elliott, City of Nashua Public Health & Community Services Department
Thank you to Leah Elliott, LICSW, CPS, Behavioral Health Specialist from the city of Nashua’s Public Health & Community Services Department who joined students enrolled in the Y’s April school vacation week program. Leah stopped by the Westwood Park YMCA, Nashua YMCA and Merrimack YMCA and read ‘The Little Spot of Feelings’ to the children and chatted with them about feelings, emotions and facial expressions. The book’s illustrations help kids understand what emotions and look like and helps them expand their emotional vocabulary.
“I think introducing youth to the concept of mental health as early as possible will provide them with the tools they need to navigate their experiences. ‘The Little Spot of Feelings’ book helps youth recognize a variety of feelings so they can identify a strategy to help them cope with that feeling. I previously read ‘Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health”’ during February vacation, and we provided youth with their own mental health action plan they could develop and utilize in times of distress,” she said.
From our students who were part of the school vacation day program:
• “She was teaching us strategies on how to calm our emotions” N.F. Merrimack
• “I learned how to calm my body down” K.G. Merrimack
• “I learned how to control my emotions” T.E. Merrimack
• “She helped me be calm and a little happy” G.G. Merrimack
• “I learned about respect and feelings” K.G. Merrimack
“Leah has made an impact to the Y Academy children and staff. She’s volunteered her free time to teach emotional skills by reading and creating self-help activities. The children were able to learn something new and apply it with the Y Academy program,” said Lorren Rodriguez, the YMCA’s Director of School Age Child Care.
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