Growing Through Grief: Overview

Contact us

Nicole Barnes,
Program Manager

Growing Through Grief is an intensive in-school grief support program provided to elementary, middle and high school students who have experienced the death of a family member or friend. Grief services are provided free of charge to the student and include peer support groups and one to one counseling on a regular basis throughout the school year.

Collaborative crisis management support for death-related incidents, such as when a staff member or student dies, are also provided to the school community.

Growing Through Grief counselors, in conjunction with school staff, support students through:

  • Peer grief support groups
  • Individual counseling
  • Death-related crisis support to schools
  • Community and staff education
  • Referrals and resources

Katy’s story

When Katy died at age 29, her family wanted to establish a living memorial in honor of what was important to her – helping children deal with grief. Katy’ love of children, combined with the grief she felt after her father died when she was 19, were the inspiration. First established in 1997, Growing Through Grief now serves 12 school districts in the Twin Cities. As Growing Through Grief continues to expand and touch lives, Katy’s memory lives on.

Grief Journey Discoveries

Students who participate in Growing Through Grief develop skills that help build resiliency and thrive both socially and academically.

  • 99 percent improve their knowledge of grief
  • 95 percent improve their coping skills
  • 84 percent improve their ability to concentrate in the classroom
  • 97 percent will refer a friend to the program

How Can You Help

Growing Through Grief is supported entirely through philanthropy. We rely on the ongoing thoughtful generosity of donors, friends and families to make this exceptional program possible every year.

Make a gift

Ride for Growing Through Grief Blog

Help Spread the Word

  • Host a Growing Through Grief presentation for your community or network
  • Volunteer on a committee to build awareness

Purchase Growing Through Grief's Keepsake Journals and/or educational booklet:

Hope Heals: A Journal of Love, Loss and Memories is a tool to help support teens and adults in the grieving and healing process. Order one today.

Growing Through Grief: A Memory Book of a Special Loved One. Designed for children ages 5 to 12. Order one today.

Supporting Grieving Children and Teens: A booklet that highlights what children and teens know, what they feel, and how to help when they are grieving the death of a family member or friend. Order one today.

Check out Growing Through Grief's 2018 Impact Report.