Death Education In our Schools

“Not only do we grieve as individuals; we grieve as communities. Our lives are so intertwined that each of us is affected by a death in our community.”  John Morgan

The impact of loss or death on a student may lead to impairment of academic performance, reduction of the student’s attention span, behaviour problems such as attention-seeking, acting-out, aggressive or withdrawn behaviour, apathy, depression, complaints of illness or pain that seem to lack any physical cause.

Many students are confronted with one or more life-changing events involving loss and grief while they are in school:

  • their own serious illness or physical injury or that of a family member;
  • a family member with a chronic or degenerative condition;
  • family or community violence;
  • separation, divorce, and remarriage;
  • death of a relative, friend, classmate, neighbour, or teacher;
  • loss of a friendship–moving to a new neighbourhood, city, province, or country;

The Community Center for Death Care and Education provided students with strategies, tasks, and teachable moments.  Strategies are presented in grade clusters 1-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12.  Tasks provide activities to introduce students to loss, grief and ways to support one another. Teachable moments provide strategies for responding when death and loss occur in the school.  Materials and information are age appropriate.

How we serve your school can be tailored to your needs.  But educating before tragedy strikes is the best way to prepare students for what grief looks like and the skills needed to face it. 

Within the Community Center for Death Care and Education program is an optional add-on tour of a local Funeral Home which includes a question and answer period with a Funeral Director allowing students to openly discuss life and death with someone who faces it daily.