WE Teachers Pandemic Module

WE Teachers Pandemic-Informed Community Resource Helping teachers, parents and caregivers discuss pandemic-related trauma with youth on a home, classroom and community level

WE Teachers WE Teachers is a free program for teachers, providing resources and training to support them in addressing the critical social issues their students are facing today. It ensures that teachers have access to the educational tools and training they need to support themselves and their students for future success. WE Schools WE Schools is an innovative series of experiential service-learning programs that supports educators and youth to empower them with the skills and knowledge to create positive change in themselves and in the world. WE Schools operates in over 18,000 schools and is proven to increase academic engage- ment, civic engagement and college and workplace readiness. WE Charity WE is a movement that empowers people to change the world through a charitable foundation and a social enterprise. The WE Schools program is our way of supporting educators who share our belief in the power of service-learning. Participating teachers will foster broader academic discussions via the interactive nature of service-learning and, through our resources, enable students to learn about local, national and global issues and become agents of change. We want a world where all young people feel empowered to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential. Currently partnered with 18,000 schools and groups, we are engaging a new generation of service leaders and providing resources for a growing network of educators. The free and comprehensive library of WE Schools lesson plans are designed to be adapted to meet the needs of any partner school, regardless of students’ grades, socioeconomic backgrounds or learning challenges. Skills development through the WE Schools program also increases academic engagement and improves college and workplace readiness. This unique program supports educators and students with the resources and strategies to achieve success. Learn more at WE.org.


Section 1: Understanding the Issue

Overview ............................................................................................................................................................... 5 Definitions and Context...................................................................................................................................... 6 Understanding the Issue .................................................................................................................................... 6 Understanding the Present ................................................................................................................................ 7

Section 2: Steps Forward

Looking Forward ................................................................................................................................................. 13 Importance of Trauma-informed Approaches................................................................................................ 13 Creating a Pandemic-informed Community .................................................................................................. 14 Additional Tips for Helping Youth Feel Supported ........................................................................................ 14 Materials and Resources ................................................................................................................................... 15

Section 3: Learning Activities

Activity 1: Video Analysis of a Credible Source............................................................................................... 17 Activity 2: Taking Action..................................................................................................................................... 17 Activity 3: Myth Busters ..................................................................................................................................... 17

Section 4: Activities for the Whole YOU

Mind ..................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Body ..................................................................................................................................................................... 21 Soul ..................................................................................................................................................................... 23

Section 5: Additonal Resources and Sources

Relevant Reads................................................................................................................................................... 27 WE Virtual Learning Opportunities ................................................................................................................. 28 Sources ............................................................................................................................................................... 29

Overview Rationale

As global citizens, the responsibility to create a safe and welcoming space for our youth falls to us. Knowing that people come from different backgrounds and experiences, we need to learn how to create a space that ensures all voices are heard, understood and nurtured. For students, this needs to take place both inside and outside the phys- ical classroom walls. Trauma exists in many forms and it is common for youth to experience it, which greatly impacts their daily lives. In situations of stress and uncertainty, as in the context of this module—a pandemic—it is imperative that we educate ourselves on what a pandemic is, how we can identify it, how to support our youth and, ultimately, create a pandemic-informed community. Essential Questions: 1. What information, tools and resources do citizens require to create a pandemic-informed space? 2. Why is it important to ensure that all citizens (parents, educators, laborers, etc.) have the information, tools and resources to develop a pandemic-informed community? Objective Provide the framing of trauma and a resource to set up a pandemic-informed community, both inside and outside the classroom, that incorporates up-to-date information and engaging, accessible activities. Key touchpoints include: • What is a pandemic? • Key signs of trauma or pandemic-related anxiety in youth • Stress and coping mechanisms Learning Goals Users of this module will: • Learn what a pandemic is and how it relates to trauma • Become familiar with a brief history of pandemics and how the current COVID-19 pandemic fits into this timeline • Discover the importance of developing a pandemic-informed community • Explore a variety of strategies, coping mechanisms and activities to help youth continue to thrive socio-emotionally, physically and academically in the context of a pandemic

Section 1: Understanding the Issue This section will introduce the issue of pandemic-related trauma as experienced in the past and present. Gain a deeper understanding of the topic and relevant context before diving into the next section on the positive impact of trauma-informed approaches.


Section 1 : Understanding the Issue

Pandemic-Informed Community Resource


Definitions + Context Understanding Trauma

not go on to develop severe symptoms, the total number of cases that exist is often large, with many unknowingly carrying the virus. Those individuals who present less- than-severe symptoms (e.g., cough, fever, aches, etc.) will most often fully recover without treatment via the normal approach—lots of rest, fluids and waiting for the virus to complete its course. The issue arises when infected individuals expose themselves to others while symptomatic or asymptomatic , increasing the likelihood of spread. When this new viral strain spreads rapidly around the world, that is when a pandemic is declared. When this declaration is made, governments and health care systems are called upon to instate precautionary measures and prepare accordingly.5 Pandemics are handled by the WHO in four phases: Interpandemic, Alert, Pandemic and Transition. The interpandemic phase takes place in the periods between pandemics and involves research and investigation of different potential viruses that may have implications for human health. The alert phase is marked by the identifi- cation of a new virus in humans, soon accompanied by an increasing number of cases. This leads to the pandemic phase, where health officials and governments acknowl- edge a widespread transmission of the virus extending beyond original borders. Within this phase exists initiation (the beginning of spread), acceleration (the worst of it) and deceleration (improvement) of viral transmission. Finally, in the transition phase, the WHO acknowledges that there is a significant reduction in global health risk, and preparations begin in anticipation of future potential pandemic waves. It is important to understand that not all countries or even regions within countries will be in the same phase of the pandemic at the same time, phases are often staggered depending on a variety of environmental and societal factors.6 , 7 Note: An epidemic is a sudden increase of a particular disease unique to a particular country, region or community. Pandemics in the Past Infectious disease spreads as humans move, whether that be going out to the supermarket or traveling to another country. Outbreaks are constant and ongoing as long as human interaction persists, though they do not always reach the pandemic levels that we are currently experiencing. The graphic on page 7 provides

some visual insight into pandemics of the past and the ways in which they compare to the current COVID-19 global outbreak. Check out this link for more detailed information on these pandemics: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of- pandemics-deadliest/ Understanding the Present The Virus That Causes COVID-19 We are currently in the midst of the latest pan- demic, one that scientists around the world had anticipated based on historical trends. As stated above, pandemics occur far less frequently than the seasonal flu, taking place on average once every 20 to 30 years. So what are we dealing with now in the 21st century? What is COVID-19? To start, coronaviruses are, in fact, a family of viruses. They are fairly common in humans, resulting in common-cold-like symptoms. They may also cause illness in animals. COVID-19 (or novel coronavirus 2019, SARS-CoV-2, etc.) is a strain of coronavirus that originated in animals. It has never been identified in humans, which is why we lack immunity.Most viral strains originating in animals do not have the ability to infect humans, however, this occurred before with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003 and MERS-CoV (Middle Eastern Respira- tory Syndrome coronavirus) in 2012. This type of virus is called “zoonotic,” indicating that it may be transferred between animals and humans.8 Infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 affect the re- spiratory system including the nose, throat and lungs. Depending on the overall immunity of the person infected, symptoms may range from mild (fever, coughing, overall achiness) to severe (shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and, in worst cases, death).

Trauma is the response we have to experiencing or witnessing an event (or series of events) that threatens our life, our safety or our personal integrity. Traumatic events can include violence, war or natural disaster. They can also include abuse or neglect, whether it’s physical or emotional. People who witness violence or abuse can experience trauma as well. In addition to trauma experienced individually, trauma experienced by previous generations can have signif- icant effects on younger generations, such as in the families of some Holocaust survivors. 1 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) may have lasting effects that span from parent to child. Studies have found that higher parental ACEs predicted poorer child health status and higher child ACEs. 2, 3 Trauma is a serious issue that happens as a result of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect, violence, war, loss, disaster and other emotionally harmful experiences. Like individuals, communities can be traumatized as well.4 Understanding the Issue Pandemics Defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “ the worldwide spread of a new disease ,” a pandemic has less to do with the characteristics of the disease itself and everything to do with how far it spreads globally. An influenza pandemic such as H1N1, which emerged in 2009, occurs when a new virus emerges, and people lack immunity against it. Immunity is the body’s ability to fight off disease and infection using its own cellular resources and recognition systems. While the seasonal flu is typically more dangerous for the elderly and immuno-compromised, new influenza strains like H1N1 pose a risk to even healthy citizens. The impact of a pandemic influenza tends to be much greater than the seasonal flu mostly because of the high- er number of people who lack immunity to the new viral strain. In this case, though many infected persons will

Sourced from: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of-pandemics-deadliest/


Section 1 : Understanding the Issue

Pandemic-Informed Community Resource


• limiting contact with people at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health • keeping a distance of at least two arms-length (approximately two meters or six feet) from others Note: Physical distancing is not the same as self-quarantine or self-isolation! Self-quarantine: “A precautionary measure for people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus and lasts two weeks, the length of time during which symp- toms emerge in 99 percent of cases.” Self-isolation: “A safety measure for people who either have tested positive for the coronavirus or suspect they have it. They pose a danger to others but must also be m nitored carefully in case they need to be hospitalized.” 11 What to Do If physical distancing has got you feeling blue... Physical distancing can be very emotionally, mentally and physically strenuous. Visit the “Activities for the Whole YOU” section in this resource guide for healthy tips to help ease the strain on your well-being! What to Do To get the most up-to-date info on COVID-19 and learn how you can best keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy, check out the following links: WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/ novel-coronavirus-2019 Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/ services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus- infection/prevention-risks.html

An infected individual may spread the virus most commonly through: • respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze • close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands Current evidence posted on government websites suggests that person-to-person spread is highly possi- ble with close contact.9




COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.

Symptoms may be very mild or more serious. They may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus.

What to Do If you want to avoid getting sick...




What Is Physical distancing? Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. Physical distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. With patience and coopera- tion, we can all do our part. This means making changes in your everyday routines to minimize close contact with others, including 10 : • avoiding non-essential gatherings • avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes • avoiding crowded places, such as concerts, arenas, conferences and festivals Follow these simple tips from government health officials to help reduce your risk of becoming infected and contributing to the spread: • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes, especially before washing your hands • Practice physical distancing • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness

Coronaviruses are most commonly SPREAD from an infected person through: ff respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze ff close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands ff touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water. HOW IT IS SPREAD

The best way to prevent the spread of infections is to: PREVENTION

ff wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

ff avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands

ff avoid close contact with people who are sick


ff when coughing or sneezing: f — cover your mouth and nose with your arm or tissues to reduce the spread of germs f — immediately dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards ff clean and disinfect frequently touched

If you have SYMPTOMS of COVID-19 — fever, cough or difficulty breathing:

ff stay home to avoid spreading it to others f — if you live with others, stay in a separate room or keep a 2- meter distance ff call ahead before you visit a health care professional or call your local public health authority f — tell them your symptoms and follow their instructions ff if you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and tell them your symptoms

United States: https://www.cdc.gov/ coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

objects and surfaces, such as toys, electronic devices and doorknobs.

ff stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others

Look for this icon to see ways you can identify what to do and provide support to students who are struggling.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CORONAVIRUS: Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/about-coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html



Pandemic-Informed Community Resource phac.info.aspc@canada.ca


Section 1 : Understanding the Issue


The Economy Human health and well-being are not the only things at risk during a global health pandemic. National and global economies are also highly affected. As citizens are instructed to practice physical distancing, stay home and avoid gatherings of any sort, opportunities for participating in spending activities are also limited. The risk of domestic and international economic downfall increases as precautionary health measures impact production of goods, pricing and global trade and finance. In early March 2020, a virtual G7 summit was held where finance ministers and central bank governors announced a commitment to doing everything in their power to protect the global economy and promote continued growth. National leaders around the globe were called upon to activate contingency plans to help minimize damage done to jobs, workers, businesses, entrepreneurs and economic growth. 12 What to Do If you are concerned about an economic crisis... • Check out some of the ways you can help protect your financial security while supporting the local, national and global economy in tough times. • Support small businesses and their owners by shopping local first. These are the industries that will be hit first by the economic downturn and will have the hardest time recovering. • Your spending dollar will have more of an impact than ever before during this period of saving and conserving, so focus your dollar on the growth you want to see. • Use social media as a tool to promote organiza- tions and businesses that you want to see survive the economic downturn. • Conserve energy and resources. Minimize the amount of waste you produce and get creative by repurposing materials. • Prepare for a new normal. “Business as usual” may look very different from all angles!

Understanding the Impact of Trauma on Youth Development While some people who experience a traumatic event do not suffer from lasting negative effects, others may have more difficulty managing their responses to trauma if lacking the social, emotional or physical supports to do so. Trauma experienced in a pandemic such as this can have a devastating impact on physical, emotional and mental well-being. Trauma affects the developing brain and body and alters the body’s stress response mechanisms. Emerging research has doc- umented the relationship between traumatic events, impaired brain function and immune system responses. Trauma induces a sense of powerlessness, fear, hope- lessness and a constant state of alert, as well as feelings of shame, guilt, rage, isolation and disconnection. In a time where we are being asked to self-isolate and distance ourselves physically from our routines and loved ones, these feelings are greatly increased. 13 Unresolved trauma can manifest in many ways, including anxiety disorders, panic attacks, intrusive memories (flashbacks), obsessive-compulsive behaviors, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions, self-injury and a variety of physical symptoms. 14 Trauma increases health-risk behaviors such as over- eating, smoking, drinking and risky sex. Unaddressed trauma can significantly increase the risk of mental and substance use disorders, suicide, chronic physical ailments and premature death. Trauma can have a significant impact on children whose brains and per- sonalities are still developing and who may not have the coping mechanisms to process traumatic events. Trauma can cause permanent changes in the structure and chemical activity in the brain, which can be more significant in children’s brains because they are still developing. Trauma impacts the parts of the brain that are responsible for learning, problem-solving, emotion- al regulation and responding to environmental threats. The impact to these parts of the brain place children at risk of developing many mental health conditions, like depression, anxiety, psychosis or addiction. Stress is a normal reaction to difficult events. But children who face long-term sustained adversity, like trauma, have prolonged stress reactions. These also impact the overall health of children over their lifetime.

What to Do If someone wants to discuss their experience of trauma with you... Work through the ALGEE technique, established by USA Mental Health First Aid, to feel comfortable and confident when talking to someone about sensitive issues. A – Assess for risk of suicide or harm L – Listen non-judgmentally G – Give reassurance and informa- tion E – Encourage appropriate profes- sional help E – Encourage self-help and other support strategies If you yourself are experiencing the effects of trauma, please don’t go through it alone. Seek out appro- priate avenues for help. You deserve the same kindness and support that you would give to anyone else. https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid. org/external/2017/09/algee-action- helping-friend-need/


Section 1 : Understanding the Issue

Pandemic-Informed Community Resource


Looking Forward Protective Factors and Building Resiliency Resiliency is the ability to withstand and adapt to life’s stressors, including the effects of trauma. The more resilient an individual is, the better equipped they are to handle obstacles and uncertainty. Resiliency does not offer automatic protection. It is possible for people to have high resiliency and still experience trauma, mental illness or other chronic conditions. Resiliency is gained through exposure to experiences that are protective factors, including an individual’s family, community and environment. Examples of protective factors that foster resilience in youth are: • Having at least one adult who made them feel loved or cared for as a child • Exposure to attentive parenting in the first three years of life, and to structure, rules or appropriate expectations in the household • Having at least one trusted adult in their life • Experiencing and recognizing their own ability to accomplish goals • Experiencing and growing their ability to be inde- pendent • Recognizing that change comes with effort, and is not innate (working hard, not just being smart) • The ability, after an initial failure, to try again and succeed Importance of Trauma-Informed Approaches Trauma-informed approaches to care have emerged over the past four decades. PTSD studies after the Vietnam War, childhood trauma research on a federal level and a groundbreaking ACEs study conducted from 1995 to 1997 eventually led to the establishment of the National Center on Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC), under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Ser- vices Administration. While the NCTIC remains primarily focused on medical care settings, the principles of trauma-informed care apply to a variety of settings, including schools and criminal justice systems. At its simplest, a trauma-informed approach means asking, “What has happened to bring you to feel and react the way you have?” and not “What is wrong with you?” Trauma-informed approaches are critical in creating spaces for learning and growth to occur, and

require systematic roll-out in order to fully infuse these approaches within any organization. The six elements of trauma-informed care are: 1. Safety. All individuals—not just children, but also the adults who work with them—should feel physically and psychologically safe. Consider what might make chil- dren feel safe in a school, home or community setting. In the context of a pandemic, what makes you feel safe? 2. Trustworthiness and Transparency. Decisions are made with transparency and are clearly communicated. Are youth provided with the reasons behind situations and events occurring around them? 3. Peer Support. In this case, peers are other people who have lived experience of trauma and recovery. In the case of a pandemic, it is less likely that you will find peers who have lived experience, but you will find peers who are currently living through the experience alongside you. Reach out to them. 4. Collaboration and Mutuality. These principles are about reducing the imbalance of power between an authority figure (like a doctor or a principal) and an individual (like a patient or a student). Collaboration and mutuality focus on respect and partnership be- tween people. With this approach, we can ensure that in spite of the unknown, we are in this together as equals. 5. Empowerment, Voice and Choice. This step elevates the role of the individual, giving them power to make decisions and play to their strengths. This is critically important for people who have experienced trauma, because traumatic experiences can take control away from the individual. Can youth find their voice and act as leaders in the context of a pandemic? 6. Cultural, Historical and Gender Issues. To be trauma-informed, any organization or collective has to both acknowledge cultural stereotypes and biases, and work to actively reduce them. They must also understand the different ways that pandemic-related trauma can impact different groups based on age, race, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ status, immigration status and more. Trauma-informed approaches to communities can help everyone build and sustain environments—both in and out of the classroom—that help children who have experienced trauma or are currently experiencing pandemic-related anxiety. 15

Section 2: Steps Forward In this section, you’ll learn about the benefits of moving forward with a trauma-informed lens, including a host of strategies for creating a pandemic-informed community where youth and adults alike can feel safe and supported.


Section 2: Steps Forward

Pandemic-Informed Community Resource


Check out the following links for additional resources on talking through infectious disease outbreaks with youth: Talking with Children: https://store.samhsa. gov/product/Talking-With-Children-Tips- for-Caregivers-Parents-and-Teachers- During-Infectious-Disease-Outbreaks/ PEP20-01-01-006 Parent Resource: https:// higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws. com/NASN/3870c72d-fff9-4ed7-833f- 215de278d256/UploadedImages/ PDFs/02292020_NASP_NASN_COVID- 19_parent_handout.pdf Managing Stress: https://store.samhsa.gov/ product/Tips-for-Survivors-of-a-Disaster- or-Other-Traumatic-Event-Managing- Stress/SMA13-4776 Guidance for Schools and Childcare Programs: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/community/schools-childcare/index. html Checklist for Teachers and Parents: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/community/schools-childcare/ checklist.html

These approaches can include identifying triggers, or reminders of trauma; identifying signs and symptoms of past trauma or pandemic-related trauma in children; and building recovery and resiliency skills and good coping mechanisms. In addition, it is important for parents, educators and the general public to create and sustain a trauma-informed environment for themselves. Burnout from stress and secondary traumatic response occurs in teachers and is a potential outcome now for parents and caregivers at home with youth. Like coun- selors, social workers and other people who interact with youth, adults can experience compassion fatigue, which may impact their ability to care for youth in their environment. Self-care strategies become important for both adults and youth. Creating a Pandemic-informed Community The key to creating a trauma-informed environment is encouraging safety and predictability. It is important during this time to create an environment where youth are respected, listened to and treated appropriately. Taking action to building a safe environment may include the following: • Increase predictability. Having routine agendas with clearly communicated expectations builds predictability that fosters safety. Preparing children for sudden changes in routine can reduce negative emotional reactions related to change. • Develop rules that are clear to youth and encourage safe and respectful behavior. • Have youth define the kinds of environments they want. Youth can discuss how to create environments that build respect, communication and effective listening, where children can learn to express frustra- tion and anger in a respectful way and support one another when experiencing challenging feelings. • Encourage the development of positive relationships between the youth in your care. Group projects and games are a good way to help. • Focus on relationship development with youth. Hold frequent informal check-ins to ensure they feel supported and cared for throughout the experience. • Model calm responses to disruption. Youth exposed to stressors often learn inappropriate responses to negative feelings. When youth display disruptive

behaviors, adults can communicate proper expecta- tions and boundaries, and model neutral responses. • Incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) or positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) can help you develop strategies and activities that protect and support all youth, and especially those with previous trauma exposure. Additional Tips for Helping Youth Feel Supported Read through these helpful tips for navigating tough conversations about trauma and the pandemic with the youth in your life: • Take their fears seriously and tell them that it’s okay to be scared. Reassure them that they’re safe and that you’ll continue to help them when they feel afraid. • Ask youth about their fears, feelings and thoughts on the situation and what has happened so far. • Explain the events as best and as calmly as you can and acknowledge what’s frightening about the situation. Do not feel the need to minimize the severity but focus on utilizing positive and optimistic terminology in your explanations. • Tell youth what you honestly think and feel. Doing so helps them feel less alone if they know that their feelings are similar to yours. To avoid inducing panic, be sure that you are in a positive mindset for this discussion. • Maintain familiar routines, like mealtimes and regular bedtime hours. These are comforting and can help reinforce a child’s sense of security. • In times of stress, certain words may trigger negative reactions or thought processes in youth, especially those who may be feeling anxious about missing school, not seeing friends, academic futures, etc. Try to avoid frequent use of the following vocabulary: “to keep up,” “crisis,” “so you don’t fall behind,” “make the best of the situation,” “comply,” “drastic,” “failing,” “watch,” “attention” and “impact.” 16 • While parents and teachers can play a huge role in helping youth deal with feelings of anxiety, some- times it may be helpful to consult a professional such as a psychologist, social worker, physician, nurse or psychiatrist who can better help youth understand and cope with their emotions.


Section 2: Steps Forward

Pandemic-Informed Community Resource


Learning Activities for Youth Activity 1: Video Analysis of a Credible Source 1. Assess background knowledge Start by asking youth to do a free write of everything that comes to mind when you write the word “health” on the board. What are their definitions of “health” and “healthy”? 2. Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Fqw-9yMV0sI Global health expert Alanna Shaikh talks about the current status of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak and what this can teach us about the epidemics yet to come. Alanna Shaikh is a global health consultant and executive coach who specializes in individual, organiza- tional and systemic resilience. Encourage youth to jot down any notes or questions that come to mind as they watch the video. Do not pause the video or stop to answer questions. Save this for later. 3. After watching the video, have youth write their responses to at least four of the following prompts: • Why does the speaker feel it is important to reveal her credentials before giving her talk? • What information surprised you about COVID-19 or coronaviruses? • Why are future pandemics guaranteed, according to the speaker? • What is the relationship between the environment and human health? • How does improving the global health system help reduce the harmful effects of outbreaks and pandemics? • Why is it important to have the capacity to report on different disease outbreaks? • What strategies would have prepared us for the COVID-19 outbreak? • What are the speaker’s recommendations for acting responsibly during the pandemic?

• Choose one of the following terms mentioned by the speaker and define it: - Xenophobia - Agoraphobia - Authoritarianism • What advice does the speaker give for moving toward a healthier future? Activity 2: Taking Action Option 1: Work with youth to draft a letter or petition to your local member of parliament, mayor, city councilor, etc. that advocates for the improvement of local and/ or global health systems. Use learnings from the video in Activity 1 to strengthen your arguments, and support these with additional credible sources. Have friends and family sign the petition to emphasize urgency and demonstrate a united front. Option 2: Get youth excited to spread some positive vibes and impact with a social media campaign! Being stuck indoors shouldn’t stop anyone from connecting with others for a good cause. Work together to identify an issue they are passionate about (maybe public health is now one of them), and come up with a creative approach to start the conversation and give people a chance to get involved! Be sure to tag WE Schools social platforms (@WEteachers) online to amplify your voice! Activity 3: Myth Busters Visit the WHO website link on the different myths about COVID-19: https://www.who.int/emergencies/ diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/ myth-busters . Work with youth to put together a short quiz to share with their friends to see how virus-savvy they are!

Section 3: Learning Activities In this section, you are invited to participate in three educational activities related to the COVID- 19 global pandemic. Each activity presents an opportunity to start the conversation with youth, get them thinking critically about the issue and help them move forward with a solid foundation of understanding.


Section 3: Learning About Bullying in the Classroom

Pandemic-Informed Community Resource


MIND Your mind is the strongest tool you have to get you through the tricky times. Here are some fun ways to keep it healthy, active and engaged!

2. Learn WHAT. Take some time each day to learn something new, whether it’s a fun factoid, a skill, a new word or a new song! WHY. Learning, even in adult- hood, helps to produce new brain cells and slow cognitive

1. Label WHAT. Give that emotion a name! Are you angry? Scared? Frustrated? Anxious? The next time you expe- rience a wave of emotions, try to describe what you’re feeling. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, or your device, and name your emotion. WHY. When dealing with strong or negative emotions, Dr. Dan Siegel discusses the power of labeling or taking a minute to stop and identify what you are experi- encing. The act of naming the emotion enables us to momentarily disengage from our feelings, a practice called emotional regulation. Brain imaging scans show that this can effectively calm the brain’s emotional centers. It may not be as satisfying as eating that piece of chocolate cake, but with practice you can train your brain and strengthen your own well-being, and nothing is ever as satisfying as a happy brain. CHALLENGE. Work toward a personal best time for emotional regulation. Start by identifying the time at which you gave a name to the emotion experienced. Then record the time at which you start to feel better. Keep a running log of this in a journal or on your device, and see if you can improve your emotional regulation personal best time! Note: It’s okay to feel ALL the feels and not rush through your emotions. Recognize whether this challenge, is in fact, a good fit for you or not—if you are someone who needs to sit with your feelings and process with time, then keeping an eye on the time of your emotional regulation might not be the strategy for you, and that’s okay!

Section 4: Activities for the Whole YOU

Keep yourself engaged, motivated and healthy using these well-being tips adapted from the WE Well-being Playbook. Each challenge is divided up into three aspects—MIND, BODY and SOUL— to make sure that every part of YOU is being nurtured.

decline. Research shows that learning new information can have positive effects on your memory and keep your brain healthy for longer! CHALLENGE. Option 1: Keep a Doc Diary! Instead of binge-watching your favorite series for the 10th time, choose a few documentaries about topics that you are interested in and take notes. Share an interesting factoid from each with your friends and family, encour- age them to watch, and ask for recommendations on some of their favorites. Option 2: Memorize one fact a day and challenge your brain to see how many of these facts you can remember by the end of the week! Impress your family with your new knowledge. Option 3: Download a language learning app like Duolingo or Rosetta Stone and commit to learning a new language. Get a friend to join you and challenge yourselves to communicate only in this new language! Option 4: Take an online course! With so much exciting content moving to online platforms, you can find anything on the web, from Ancient Greek Mythology to Introduction to Acting, and a lot of it is free. Get your friends to “come to class” with you and learn together!


Section 4: Activities for the Whole YOU

Pandemic-Informed Community Resource


3. Reframe WHAT. Take a negative thought or stressor and reframe as an opportunity. For example, if you’re frustrated with not being able to visit your favorite Mexican restaurant, try transforming your kitchen into a Mexican restaurant and host a taco night for your family! WHY. Perspective is everything. The art of reframing can help us see the positive side of a situation. This technique has the power to transform most annoyances into opportunities. CHALLENGE. Do this one with a friend or group of friends. Have each friend write down four or five different stressors or frustrations they are currently experiencing. Swap lists and come up with creative ideas to help your friends reframe the issue and shift their perspective. Then take the initiative to put your own list into action! 4. Ask WHAT. Tired of discussing what’s on the news or making small talk? Break the mold of casual conversation and ask the important questions. Challenge your friends and family to think deeply about their responses. WHY. Having meaningful conversation allows our brains to slow down and consider perspectives, use memory, identify emotion and communicate intentionally. It is the opposite of small talk, and calls for mind-expand- ing, open-hearted conversations led by questions that build relationships and foster learning. CHALLENGE. Next time you start a conversation in-person, on the phone or on video, lead with these questions: • Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest? • Would you like to be famous? In what way? • What would a perfect day be like for you? • What are three positive qualities you possess that you are proud of? • What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? • Name three things you and your best friend appear to have in common. • For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

BODY Eat, sleep, move, repeat! A healthy body is the best defense against boredom, frustration and sadness during hard times. Try out a few of these fun challenges to keep movin’ and groovin.’

• Take four minutes and tell the other person your life story in as much detail as possible. • If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? Check out Arthur Aron’s 36 Questions to see the remainder of the list (there are 36 in total), or come up with some of your own! 5. Focus WHAT. You want to do a puzzle? Then do a puzzle, but that’s it. Don’t put on a movie in the background. Don’t talk on the phone. Don’t start a new project halfway through. Focus on one task at a time. WHY. Multitasking is counterproductive. Working on a project while bouncing between group chats and YouTube is unlikely to boost your efficiency or enjoyment. In fact, you’re actually just “switch tasking,” moving from one thing to another and then back again. The next time you catch yourself in the act, pause and congratulate yourself for noticing—this is mindfulness! CHALLENGE. Option 1: Write down a list of the tasks for the day and be intentional about the sequence you put them in. Stick to this sequence! Keep track of all the times you catch yourself trying to multitask or losing focus on the task at hand. Do this every day for a week and see if you can train your brain to reduce your tally over the course of the week. Option 2: Time your focus phase. Set a timer when you settle in to begin a task or activity and pause the timer only when you lose focus. Record the time span and try again. Practice this over the course of the week to see if you can extend the amount of time spent in full focus-mode. Take note of any changes in your produc- tivity or sense of well-being. Option 3: Practice mindful moments. Create a regular schedule for yourself to simply be still and focus on breathing. Find a position and a method that works for you, whether it be sitting cross-legged, lying flat, counting, repeating phrases, body scanning, etc. Make this mindful moment a priority on your to-do list and commit to it.

2. Hydrate WHAT. Is the glass half empty or half full? It doesn’t matter as long as you drink up! Increase your water intake to keep your body and mind running at full capacity. WHY. Water is key to mental and physical health and performance. The folks at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health want everyone to know that water improves sleep quality, cognition and mood. It also regulates body temperature and delivers nutrients to cells. About 75 percent of your brain is water, so when dehydrated it struggles to focus, solve problems and coordinate motor skills. CHALLENGE. Set yourself an hourly alarm to drink a glass of water. Every time your alarm goes off, send a positive message to one friend and remind them to drink a glass of water as well! Use Boomerang to send a virtual cheers! 3. Nourish WHAT. Eat healthy! Treat your body the way it deserves to be treated, with lots of self-love, care and food rich in nutrients to power through the tough times! WHY. Nutrition is key to vitality. It promotes healthy brain and body development and function, and helps to prevent disease. What’s good for your gut is good for your brain—they are connected by millions of nerve cells! The field of nutritional psychiatry continues to discover the many ways that food influences mood and well-being. CHALLENGE. Option 1: Do some research to find a healthy food blogger and choose one recipe a day to try at home. Take pictures of your three Michelin-star dish to share with the blogger along with a positive message. Knowing that their passion is appreciated by others could make their day!

1. Sleep WHAT. Make a point of getting your body into a regular sleep schedule by sticking to a routine wakeup and bedtime. Shoot for a nine hour slot of good z’s. WHY. According to neuroscientist Matthew Walker, Director of Human Sleep Science at University of California in Berkeley, waking up and going to sleep at a regular time every day is the single most effective tool in resetting our body and brain health. Proper sleep has the power to boost immunity, increase brain power and decision-making ability, and lower blood pressure. Why wouldn’t you want to get in on these benefits? CHALLENGE. Administer your own sleep experiment! Week 1: Start by simply recording your normal sleep schedule for a week using the chart provided. Be sure to note your energy levels and what you did at the end of each day. Week 2: Set a realistic wakeup time and bedtime for each day and see how closely you can stick to it. Use the chart to record your timings and continue to note your energy levels and daily summary. Week 3: Challenge a friend to do the same. Align your bedtimes so that you say goodnight and good morn- ing at the same time every day! Spread the wellness far and wide.


Section 4: Activities for the Whole YOU

Pandemic-Informed Community Resource


SOUL Take a big spoonful of chicken soup for the soul! When you sense negativity around you, keep your heart happy and the positive vibes flowing by engaging in these uplifting activities.

Option 2: Reframe your meals! Write down your favorite things to eat and find ways to make some of those options healthier without compromising on taste. For example, if you are a fan of spaghetti and meatballs, why not try a variation with squash noodles and bean- based “meatballs”? Instead of that chocolate chip muffin loaded with sugar, try making your own version using honey or a healthier sweetener. Option 3: Host your own Instagram Live episode of “ Chopped .” Pull out some healthy ingredients from your fridge and pantry and time yourself in a challenge to create something delicious! Have your family at home be your judges, tasting your creation and provid- ing valuable (and likely hilarious) commentary. 4. Move WHAT. Move your body! Walk, jog, jump, dance, do pushups and crunches, or all of the above! WHY. Exercise stimulates blood vessels in the body and increases blood flow to the brain and vital organs. It also has been shown to slow cognitive decline and jump-start neurogenesis—the creation of new brain cells. Exercise keeps your system functioning at an optimal level—it keeps your bones strong, heart pump- ing and lungs efficient. You won’t find a downside. There are none. CHALLENGE. Option 1: With so much content available online there is no shortage of opportunities to bring physical activity directly into your living room! Follow your favorite fitness icon and check out any online classes or workout programs they offer. Get a friend to be your accountability buddy and commit to a workout schedule that you can both stick to! Option 2: Make a weekly movement action plan guided by the following prompts: • This week, I’ll set aside the following times for movement:

Option 3: Join or start your own challenges! Want to improve your upper body strength? Commit to a pushup challenge where you start with 10 and add one a day for a month. Want to work on your cardiovascular health? Go for runs that get steadily longer. Remember to keep your challenges realistic and doable. Be sure to record your progress as you go to celebrate successes and keep yourself on track. 5. Recharge WHAT. Set some time aside to just be. Do something you enjoy that requires little focus, little effort and zero stress. WHY. Switching from “doing-mode” to “being-mode” is essential in a 24/7 world where it’s easy to be busy nonstop. Setting aside downtime can help increase your energy levels and better equip you to respond to stress. Think of recharging your brain and body as if you were recharging your phone! To quote American writer Anne Lamott, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” CHALLENGE. Make downtime part of your daily routine. Set aside a block of time each day where you have no responsibilities or tasks. Create a space for yourself that allows you to disconnect from all stressors. Take this time for you and only you, and encourage friends and family to do the same. Check out some of these suggestions to help you recharge: • Play with your pet • Stretch • Watch a funny movie

2. Connect WHAT. Reach out to your loved ones, especially those who might be struggling. Phone calls, video chats and snail mail are all awesome ways to feel connected and let others know you are always in their corner. Even when physical distancing is our new normal, connection is still possible, and more necessary than ever! WHY. We all benefit from a sense of belonging—it is key to our well-being. In fact, even thinking about connec- tions can activate a release of neurotransmitters in the brain that can help keep our minds active and healthy while also reducing the stress hormone cortisol. Brain imaging studies have revealed that feelings of love contribute to brain growth, while relationship building with others helps to stimulate the release of oxytocin, the “love and cuddle” hormone. CHALLENGE. Option 1: Create a group chat with friends or family members. Keep each other posted on what’s happening in your lives through pictures, videos, GIFs, voice notes, etc. Keep the conversations positive and uplifting, and invite the members of your chat to partici- pate in any well-being challenges that you are taking on! Option 2: Check your corners—sometimes you need a little reminder of all the people and places you are connected to. Fill out the following statements and keep your answers on hand when you’re feeling far away from your faves! • I always feel comfortable with... • I can tell anything to... • People who help me to solve problems. • People who help me feel valued... • People who take my concerns seriously... Option 3: Extend your reach. Who is someone that you think might need you? Reach out to a friend or family member to remind them that they have you in their corner! Try to make this a weekly initiative where you reach out to one long-lost friend or family member who might benefit from a little reminder that they matter to you.

1. Go Outside WHAT. It’s pretty straightforward. Just step outdoors— whether it be for five minutes, an hour or an afternoon. WHY. A 2014 study examining the link between “nature connectedness” and happiness suggests that a regular dose of the outdoors can be as restorative as it feels, improving attention and emotional functioning, and increasing feelings of vitality. This includes short walks or even sitting outdoors! CHALLENGE. Option 1: Make a plan to get outside every day! Find a new outdoor activity for each day and schedule time for it. Instead of simply setting an alarm, curate a playlist with a certain number of songs equivalent to the length of time you’ll spend outdoors. Kickstart your week with the list of suggested activities below, or brainstorm a few of your own: • The most basic: walk • Jog • Set up an outdoor circuit training workout with different household items • Play frisbee with someone you live with • Do some neighborhood wildlife or architectural photography • Try different movements when going down different streets (e.g., skip, lunge, crabwalk, hop, etc.) • Walk for the length of a favorite podcast episode Option 2: When the weather is nice, grab a book and settle into a comfortable spot outside in the sun or in the shade. Enjoy the sounds of the birds and the breeze while taking some time for you. Option 3: Explore the forest! Research different walking trails in your area and participate in the Japanese art of “forest-bathing” or “shinrin-yoku.” Japanese scientist Dr. Qing Li shares some tips for unlocking the power of nature by being with trees. Check out page 149 of the WE Well-being Playbook to learn more.

• Take a nap • Do a puzzle • Read a book • Pray or meditate

• This is important to me because: • My goal for the end of this week is:


Section 4: Activities for the Whole YOU

Pandemic-Informed Community Resource


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