CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - There are 3 million children in the country living with at least one parent who is battling addiction. It’s difficult for children to understand, let alone cope with the situation, but a local program is trying to help.
“It’s a beautiful program,” says Barb Burncheck.
Burncheck has been raising her 8-year-old granddaughter for the past 6 years. Her daughter is struggling with addiction, and Burncheck says she’s been struggling with how to talk to her granddaughter about that situation.
Rosie’s Playhouse in Brook Park uses art, writing, and conversation to help kids understand and cope with addiction that’s impacting their family.
“They do feel that they’re out of place and what we teach them is that we are all together. We are actually bound by what’s happening to them,” says Kathi Stautihar, the founder of Rosie’s Playhouse.
The kids write about how addiction makes them feel. Some say it addiction makes them feel sad or mad.
“We really play on their strengths. We teach them then what their strongest points are and we build on that,” says Stautihar.
They also get a book bag filled with art supplies and books that are on topic, like ’When a Family is in Trouble."
"It meant a great deal to my granddaughter, she’s 8. She’s much calmer, she’s always been a good girl, but she said, I finally talked about my mom and I feel so much better,” says Burncheck.
The kids who participate are then asked to come back, to pay it forward to a new round of kids attending the program.
Rosie’s Playhouse focuses on elementary-aged children.
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