Logo SqWebMany of us are struggling to understand what is happening in our society and our children may have questions we aren’t able to answer. That does not mean you don’t need to talk about the current events as talking can help reduce feelings of anxiety and helplessness. The following resources are intended to empower you to talk with your child(ren) about the traumatic events that are occurring. If you require additional supports, do not hesitate to reach out to other trusted supports such as your school counselor or therapist.   

Talking to your child during times of stress

  • Take care of yourself. Really. You and your feelings matter.
  • Your child will take their cues from you so be aware that you are presenting what you want them to see. Just as they share in your moments of joy, they will also share in your pain. Please be sure that you don’t give them more of your pain than they can manage as they may have their own.
  • Allow your child the choice to opt out of any discussions related to this incident. Not all are in the same place with their feelings.

How to engage in conversation

  • “It sounds like you are sad” (angry, confused, frustrated, etc).” (affirming feelings)
  • If your child asks you a question it is okay to say that you don’t know the answer. You can look for the answer together.
  • “It’s hard when we don’t know all the facts.” (truth telling but not stating more than we’re able to tell)
  • “There are a lot of ways to feel and they are all okay.” Sometimes you might feel one way and then you might feel another way later on.
  • “There is no one right way to feel or to act.”
  • “What would you like to do right now (who would you like to talk to) that might help?”

Supporting by listening through grief, loss, or other strong emotions

Most often, what people want most is someone to talk to about their experience:

  • Someone to care
  • Someone to really listen
  • Someone to lean on or cry with
  • How to let people know you are listening
  • Actively listen when someone needs to talk: turn toward the speaker, speak calmly, listen more than speak, summarize, reflect.
  • Make eye contact if appropriate.
  • Listen more, talk less.
  • Your compassionate presence is more important than your words.
  • Try not to interrupt.
  • Label, summarize, and mirror the feelings the other person is expressing.
  • Do ask questions to clarify.

Things NOT to say

  • I know how you feel. (But it’s okay to say, “I feel sad too.”)
  • Let’s talk about something else.
  • You should work toward getting over this.
  • You are strong enough to deal with this.
  • You’ll feel better soon.
  • You need to relax.

Also, don’t judge. Questions like “Why?” and “Why not?” and evaluating the worth of what someone else did or didn’t do don’t help.

Student behaviors to watch for

Students may show some of these behaviors immediately or days, weeks, or even months after an incident. If these behaviors persist, talk to a trusted support such as your doctor, school counselor, or therapist.

  • Shock/denial
  • Restlessness, anger, aggressive behavior
  • Sleeping or eating difficulties
  • Headaches, tummy aches, body aches
  • Withdrawal
  • Sadness, tearfulness
  • Poor concentration
  • Unexpected fears and worries
  • Acting younger than their age
  • School avoidance

More resources for supporting students

Resources collected by Osseo Area Schools staff

National PTA


The 10th annual Reading is Fun 5K, sponsored by District 279 Foundation and Kidstop, will be a virtual event this year, held from August 1-12.

Over the past decade, nearly $70,000 in proceeds from the Reading is Fun 5K have been allocated to media centers in Osseo Area Schools. The 10-year celebration will look a little different, but will still allow participants to celebrate reading by participating virtually with their friends, family and community. Funds raised from this family-friendly event will help District 279 media centers (libraries) purchase learning resources. Celebrate reading by creating a virtual team of your friends and family to join in on the running fun!

Date and Time: The 10th annual Reading is Fun 5K will be a virtual event. Stay healthy and support media centers in Osseo Area Schools by running or walking your preferred route between August 1 – 12.

Registration Fee: Thanks to a generous anonymous sponsorship, community members of all ages can register for just $10.

Register today!

Location: Anywhere, this is a virtual event. You can build your own unique race day experience right at home. Run your own route whenever convenient for you and wherever you want! Be sure to practice safe social distancing while you are at it.

Submit Results: The race results will be unofficial, but report your 5K time at foundation@district279.org by August 15, and we will add your post to the list on our website. No winners will be declared. This is just to celebrate that Reading is Fun!

Virtual Cheers: Cheer on your fellow runners! Take photos of yourself and companions running your event and post them on social media. Tag “D279F” and use the hashtag #ReadingIsFun5K.

Gear: Shirts and finisher medals will be available (similar to a packet pick-up) at a date and location to be determined for paid participants. Further directions and dates will be sent to those that register for the virtual event once more specific info becomes available.

Sponsors: Our sponsors are cheering you on! Please support and patronize our sponsors and thank them for their support of the Reading is Fun 5K!

Reading is Fun Virtual 5K

August 1 -12, 2020

Proceeds will be allocated to media centers in ISD 279 – Osseo Area Schools.

Visit district279foundation.org to register and learn more.