School Counselors Help Kids Cope

It appears even the smallest of kids know a little something about the Air Race tragedy.

Take for instance four year old Gabriel Castro. “They died, and they died back there,” says Gabriel.

Gabriel attends pre-school at Desert Heights Elementary. Located only a blocks away from the Reno-Stead Airport, when the accident happened, the principal was off school grounds and unable to get back.

She says she asked her school counselor to step in.

”I was worried about our after school children and wondered what was going to happen. She said that she's talked to Sierra Kids and they were willing to stay in case the parents couldn't get here because of the traffic jam,” says Mavis Leathley, principal with Desert Heights Elementary.

Leathley says the counselor was invaluable to her that day, and this week at Desert Heights and other schools across the district there are more of them, available to talk to children who are having trouble coping with the disaster.

“Children who were there with their parents or they have relatives that were there or friends that were there or a lot of people work the races you know it’s really a family affair,” says Katherine Loudon, School Counseling Coordinator.

Loudon says the counselors work with parents who are the first to recognize a problem with their child and turn to the school for help.

Leathley says her school has a great relationship with families and doesn't think anyone would hesitate to reach out.

“I'm really lucky because if I call the counselors they'll be right out here talking to parents, students or teachers that need assistance,” says Leathley.

Loudon believes her counselors will be busy at least for a month responding to the needs of children troubled by the air show disaster.

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