HSAP Makes Children’s Lives Better

Teachers know first hand that when children are struggling with personal matters they can often find it difficult to concentrate in school. HSAP offers a forum for students and staff to problem-solve together and share ideas about how to improve the educational experience of the whole child.

In a world of illness, pending divorce, bullying and poverty, the Hawthorn Student Assistance Program (HSAP) is in place to make students’ learning socially and emotionally a better place.

“The Hawthorn Student Assistance Program was formed to help promote a healthy lifestyle for all students at Hawthorn,” said Megan Goldman, who facilitates the group. HSAP is comprised of principals, social workers, students and parents who share strategies that have found success in District 73’s seven schools. “Our goal is to improve students’ physical, mental, and emotional health,” Mrs. Goldman said.

This year at Elementary North School, staff introduced the Buddy Bench for the playground. When children don’t have a playmate they sit on the bench and other children reach out to them. Other Hawthorn schools are looking at introducing this concept on their playground.

Elementary South participates in The Great Kindness Challenge each year. Students enacted a “pay it forward” act of kindness at the school where they share acts of kindness with one another. Elementary North learned about this at an HSAP meeting and decided to bring it to their school as well.

“We’re all trying to deliver the same services. It makes it easier to plan together,” said Debbie Dubin, social worker at Elementary North.