Broomfield Group Works to Support Youth
If you go
What: Broomfield Buddies Community Meeting, Discussing School Safety and Next Steps
When: 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Thursday, March 1; Screening of Angst to follow.
Where: Aspen Creek PK-8 School, 5500 Aspen Creek Drive
As local students are making their voice heard through a peaceful protest against guns in schools and letters to Congress, the adults who support them are likewise calling for change.
Broomfield Buddies, a group formed by area teachers and community members in 2013 following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, wants to get the community involved.
After the Parkland, Florida school shooting Feb. 14, people have a lot of questions with school safety along the lines of ’what can we do to advance social, emotional and mental health,” Debra Meyer, one of the founders, said.
“Because of the shooting, we decided to release what it is we’re going to do,” Meyer said. “We were going to wait until the beginning of next school year, but we wanted to engage our community in a response locally.”
In the spring of 2013, when the community was reeling in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, community members met at Broomfield United Methodist Church to come together for a proactive response.
After a few sessions, Broomfield Buddies was formed.
Broomfield Buddies 1.0 was the first wave of effort spurred by Sandy Hook; Broomfield Buddies 2.0 will address issues following the Florida shooting specifically.
They invite the public to a meeting Thursday to talk about a vision for Broomfield Buddies 2.0 and expand the scope to all schools in Broomfield.
Continued school funding challenges in Colorado means the theoretical support for children’s social, emotional, and mental health does not match the monetary support, the release said.
“We’re doing advocacy in BVSD schools to increase mental health support in schools by getting counseling staff in schools,” Meyer said. “A lot of people don’t know we don’t have school counselors in all the schools, especially at the elementary level.”
Broomfield Buddies is a designated fund with the Broomfield Community Foundation.
Since 2013, the group recruited and trained 25 volunteers who have worked more than 3,000 hours in Broomfield schools supporting students, staff and teachers, according to their website. They have financially supported the Positive Behavior Programs with funding to support student programs at Aspen Creek K-8, Birch, Emerald and Kohl elementary schools.
The group founders, which include Meyer, Aspen Creek Principal Tracy Stegall and Emerald Principal Samara Williams, reported decreased discipline incidences over time at those four schools.
They have financially supported research, programming and training in the area of supporting LGBTQ youth and the teachers that support them, and have “leveraged influence and empathy-building” in Broomfield and the Boulder Valley School District to “bring social and emotional learning of students at the preschool and elementary levels to the forefront for budgeting priorities.”
Following Thursday’s event, Aspen Creek PTA is sponsoring a free screening of “Angst,” a 55-minute documentary described as, “Real talk and real people dealing with real anxiety. As it turns out, talking is the best thing for anxiety.”
The screening will run 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios