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COPE Weekend helps Ohio students deal with stress, anxiety from returning to school

Underserved areas disproportionately affected by pandemic
Three days of unique strategies will help students address anxiety over returning to the...
Three days of unique strategies will help students address anxiety over returning to the classroom in the wake of the pandemic(C.O.P.E., Inc.)
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 1:43 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “This weekend, this garden is going to be transformed into a safe haven for our youth,” said Laylah Allen, of C.O.P.E., or Creating Opportunities for People Empowerment.

That safe haven is the Revolutionary Love Garden at East 123rd and Imperial Avenue, a three-day free learning event for K through 12th grades.

“It’s a pivotal time right now,” Allen said. “We’re living in unprecedented times with our youth and I think it’s very important for us to take that extra step to get them ready to return to school in person.”

Some disadvantaged students might not have been in the classroom as much as more privileged kids or even have some extracurriculars as part of their life. So, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, it’s Haiku painting, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, it’s yoga and martial arts, and Friday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., it’s a Community Resource Fair with music, food, free school supplies, and a Cope Box.

“So, we have colored pencils. Sometimes, we have sketchbooks, of course, scented lotion. There is a journal, I believe underneath there, a jump rope,” Allen described looking through the free box funded through a $10,000 grant. “There are a number of different coping mechanisms you can use throughout the month.”

It’s a reacclimation for students, many of whom haven’t been in the classroom regularly for more than a year.

“It’s going to be enlightening,” said Allen. “It’s going to be exciting.”

The events are free, but you need to reserve a place.

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