This elementary school workshop teaches children a child safety “bill of rights” called Miss Kendra’s List. The program has received national attention after being featured in the 2016 documentary Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope. Part of the program includes a book reading session where counselors read from The Legend of Miss Kendra, a powerful story that teaches children about resilience and how to cope with toxic stress.
Who is Miss Kendra?
The Legend of Miss Kendra, a powerful story that describes the tale of resilience born of suffering, of strength overcoming helplessness and knowledge arising from the truth of experience. Miss Kendra, a guardian figure who helps children cope with chronic and toxic stress of everyday living, represents the essence of many real people who work each day to help our children.
Miss Kendra is a fictional, resilient single mother whose list is a simple, direct Bill of Rights for child safety posted throughout the school. The Legend of Miss Kendra is told by our staff that describes Miss Kendra’s coping with loss and how the list was generated. Students write to Miss Kendra about their worries and receive letters back emphasizing empathy and resilience. Read Letters to Miss Kendra here.
Miss Kendra’s List
Miss Kendra’s List is at the core of the ALIVE program. In simple but direct language it reminds us of the basics of child safety. Posters of Miss Kendra’s List are placed in every classroom and introduced and explained to the students.
From kindergarten to the 12th grade, Miss Kendra’s List serves as a solid reference point for students, teachers, and parents, and deviations from it must be openly discussed and rapidly attended to. This is a minimum component of any trauma-informed school.
This Is What Miss Kendra Says…”What Do You Say?”