Social-Emotional Well-Being

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Adolescence can be a very exciting time of growth, change, expanding horizons and increasing independence.  At the same time, it can be a very difficult time in one’s life. Adolescence is a critical stage in development and includes many social, emotional and physical changes.
 
The Lunch Bunch program creates a safe space for students to discuss what’s on their mind, seek advice, realize they are not alone and enjoy each other’s company. Lunch Bunch is discussion-based with a professional facilitator leading the group.  Some of the topics typically covered include internet safety, friendships, perceived expectations for boys/girls, managing pressure and anxiety, self-awareness and preparing for the transition into high school.

Lunch Bunch is not a therapeutic group, but rather a place for students to talk confidently and candidly about their worries, questions, joys and hopes as they navigate this transitional part of their lives and look toward the future.  This program has many benefits including building confidence, learning to be a better friend, understanding group dynamics, learning relaxation techniques and practicing empathy.

The current iteration of the Lunch Bunch looks different than the previous versions and it’s different than the elementary version. 
 
The facilitator of the groups is Chaaze Roberts, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with over a decade of experience working with adolescents.  Chaaze works at the Family Institute and has been running the Boys’ Lunch Bunch at NNMS for the past four years.  Chaaze often incorporates drumming into each session, which allows the students to be physically active and engaged during the discussion. He will work within each home classroom and will facilitate groups that are separated by grade, but mixed by gender.  Chaaze also runs the exact same program at Rogers Park Montessori. 
 
Your child will see Chaaze once every six weeks during PE time.  That six-week rotation is enough to accomplish some good work over the year without requiring an excessive amount of time. 
Posted in 12-14 - Chris Ambroso

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