ST. GEORGE (ABC4 News) – As anxiety and uncertainty rises among displaced students and disrupted families due to COVID-19 closures, a St. George nonprofit is stepping up to offer some real help to thousands of Southern Utah students at home.
The School of Life Foundation, a nonprofit providing character education classes to at-risk youth, is now making its online video training series available for students at home free of charge.
For the entire month of April, families can subscribe to Life Launch University for a free month’s trial. The educational program is an approved resource for social-emotional learning by the Utah State Board of Education, which teaches emotional resilience to help youth deal with rising mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression, in healthy and productive ways.
“The CDC had a report out that said 1 in 3 teenagers had anxiety,” Joe Newman, the business development director of Life Launch University, said. “Now I can only imagine what that number is with all of this coronavirus uncertainty. With students displaced and parents at home with kids suddenly having to do homeschooling, we know that emotions are running high.”
“We felt it more necessary and more important now than ever to help get these emotional tools into their hands to help them cope with stressful situations,” added Newman.
Newman told ABC4 News the program has been running in several high schools and middle schools in Southern Utah already, reaching thousands of students, but parents have recently requested access to Life Launch University after describing how difficult and highly emotional this pandemic has become.
Families will have access to a series of 90 videos and worksheets that teach social-emotional learning combined with character education, including brain development, empathy, mindfulness, the power of attitude and healthy emotional coping skills.
“It’s really helpful when parents and kids sit down to watch the videos together, participate in the mindfulness moment together, and share what they wrote down on their worksheets together,” Newman said. “It helps establish a common culture of emotional strength.”
The nonprofit says it incurred some costs to make the video series available at home, but felt they had to do whatever they could to get students the emotional help they need during this time.
To access the free one month’s trial of Life Launch University, head here.