Game-changing partnership fosters learning - Christian Family Solutions

Game-changing partnership fosters learning


Stories of Healing and Hope

Game-changing partnership fosters learning

“My job is to teach. I don’t always know how to take care of the kids emotionally, and it can be draining. Our counselor’s job is to help the children heal from trauma so they can learn.”

Ruth Bourman is a K5 lead teacher at Mount Lebanon Lutheran School in the heart of Milwaukee. Every day she pours her heart and soul into her role as a teacher and a nurturer. Some days can be more difficult than others. Students in Ruth’s classroom have been diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Many children struggle with simple expectations such as completing homework and arriving at school on time.

“I have students who are afraid to sleep because they saw someone get shot outside their home,” Ruth says. “Others have lost family members this past year. Students are having a tough time making it through the school day because they have no stamina. Parents are tired.”

What does a disruptive classroom look like for teachers like Ruth? Students are defiant. Some refuse to follow directions. Many choose to shut down. Physical and emotional aggressive behaviors have increased. All of these experiences are disruptive, and they interfere with a child’s learning process.

For this reason, School-Based Counseling from Christian Family Solutions is vital to this community.

“After a counseling situation, the child comes back to the classroom with a different demeanor,” Ruth says. “The child comes back calmer, ready to learn.”

When a child needs counseling, the CFS on-site counselor is just a few offices away from the classroom, making the transition from the classroom to the counseling room easy and accessible.

“The students know ahead of time when we are scheduled to meet,” says Renee Thompson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker for CFS. “When they see me come to the door and make eye contact, they are eager to leave the class and join me. If they are having a rough day or the teacher needs to alert me of something, they will generally talk with me prior to the student session.”

Having a safe place for students to share or vent their frustrations and worries is essential to their learning. If a student is unwilling to talk in a counseling session, therapists are prepared to provide an activity, a game, or a book to help them find relief and be able to return to the classroom in a calm manner.

The CFS Youth Counseling Initiative focuses on discovering and developing programming that meets the needs of students, in partnership with donors, schools, and parents. We leverage all available public and private dollars to ensure that students receive the mental health care and services they need to thrive in school and in their communities.

We are grateful to our partner schools and our donors who help make care accessible to more youth.

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