Empowering Kids Through Writing: Spotlight on Little Legacies

Child life specialists know how important it is for kids to find their voice when they are faced with medical challenges. So, I was delighted to learn about Little Legacies mentorship program and share this amazing resource with you.

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Little Legacies was founded with the hope of helping children, struggling with illness, find a voice. Through writing, we support them in telling their story.  Our struggles can often give us the most profound understanding of life, and this is no different for children.

Little Legacies provides reprieve for pediatric patients and families faced with terminal and life altering medical conditions.  We offer mentoring in writing as an enrichment to their existing services and treatments.  Providing writing tools and inspiration, we are dedicated to improving the quality of patients’ time spent in treatments and hospitals.

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We provide one-on-one guidance while the patient is self-led through independent discovery.  Patients are provided with writing prompts and exercises as well as a hard bound journal and writing implements to expand their thoughts to paper.

We always remain sensitive to the patient’s physical and emotional response to topics and length of session.

We provide in person mentoring in select cities and also provide sessions via Skype or Facebook Private Messenger Video.  Group workshops are also available upon request.

Our mentor services are provided free through social services, hospitals and nonprofits for families that qualify.  Qualifying patients must write independently and are typically between the ages of 5 and 21 years old.

Click here to contact Little Legacies and be sure to follow them on Facebook.

More about the founders:

Leah Recor

Leah Recor

From a very young age, through personal loss and adversity, Leah realized the only thing that truly matters in this life is connecting with others and making a positive difference in their moment, their day, or their life.  Being a writer, and leaning on her love of journaling to make sense of her grief, she realized writing was bringing her clarity and peace.  But, her greatest teachers are her two young daughters.  On the toughest days, they bring such honesty and profound explanation for the tribulations they face together.  While Leah was over analyzing and grasping for answers, they often seemed to already have resolutions and she couldn’t help but take notice.  Leah has a profound respect for children and believes what they have to say is just as meaningful as someone with more time on this earth.  They too, have legacies to leave behind.  Their innocence brings truth to what we can sometimes not see or understand as adults.  Leah has experience with Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Simplicity Parenting, Waldorf Education, child-led activities, as well as children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  She has taught for Denver Public Schools and graduated from the University of Denver.

Kim Denver

Kim Denver

Kim has always loved preserving moments and lives through photography.  In many different photographic styles, narratives are told and unfolded, and a legacy becomes preserved through a collection of images, sometimes even a single moment captured with one photograph.  It is this form of storytelling that taught Kim how important it is to understand people through their eyes and experiences.  Perhaps she has been drawn to the protection of family memories by finding history minimal in her own family tree, but honoring an oral retrospection of a life allows that person to live on well beyond their own physical timeline.  Kim has a generous and loving heart.  She adopted two rescue dogs who endured the most unkind of lives.  She understands they don’t have the tools or voice to express the scars and fears they have and has provided a safe home for them to test the boundaries of a safeguarded environment.  It is this same compassionate heart that beckons her to work with an organization serving children, who under extreme adversity, also need someone to understand the shoes they fill and give them tools to find a voice.  Kim is a professional photographer helping families record legacies of their own.  She graduated from Metro State University of Denver and has professional provided photography services to St. Baldrick’s Foundation as well as many families and businesses across Colorado.

Empowering Adolescents through Journaling: Spotlight on Digging Deep

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Navigating through your tween and adolescent years is already difficult, now imagine also coping with a medical condition. It can be a recipe for disaster. Child life specialists work closely with this age group to normalize their experience and help teens feel empowered.
I’m excited to feature an amazing tool that every specialist should use with their patients, Digging Deep: A Journal for Young People Facing Health Challenges, by Rose Offner and Sheri Brisson.
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Digging Deep is a writing journal with guided prompts for older kids and teens facing serious and chronic illnesses or disabilities. Beautifully designed pages inspire children ages 10-18 to explore difficult issues more easily and to express their feelings through writing. Digging Deep serves as a tool for improved communication between patients, their families, and professional caregivers, often giving them a sense of hope and building their resilience to adversity.
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To request a complimentary copy for a child, a review copy for a hospital or nonprofit organization, or to place an order, go to Digging Deep’s Order Page. They are a nonprofit publisher, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, offering scholarship books where needed, and gratefully accept donations in order to provide more books to those who need them.

Digging Deep is also available in Spanish:  Explorando Hondo—Un diario personal para niños y adolescentes que enfrentan desafios de salud.

For more information, go to their website at Diggingdeep.org or call 1-800-488-3202. Be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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