Foundation for the Arts and Trauma, Inc. / ALIVE

ALIVE’s vision is to create schools that support open conversations about the truth in students’ lives, and thereby liberate their energies and spirits for the important work of learning. By attending to students’ stresses before they break down with symptoms and negative behaviors, ALIVE helps the entire classrooms and school to calm down.

Philosophy: Our nation’s current policy is to wait until highly stressed young children cannot hold on any longer and break down into symptoms of anxiety and depression, and disruptive behaviors in the classroom, and only then to provide expensive support services and treatments. ALIVE aims to reach these highly stressed students before they need to break down. This is accomplished through methods of early identification, in which every child is asked how they are doing, on a regular basis.

ALIVE Program for Elementary Schools – Miss Kendra’s List:

A list of child safety items is placed in every classroom and linked with a fictional figure of Miss Kendra who is a single mother who experienced stress but overcame it by contributing to society. The students are encouraged to write to Miss Kendra about their worries, and then receive a letter back from her. These letters emphasize emotional literacy, a growth mindset, empathy, and penmanship. Weekly classroom activities help the students learn more about and share experiences relating to child safety, consolidating their understanding.

Dear Ms Kendra,

When I get bullyed I feel like i mean nothng to the world i’m just a piece of trash waiting to get swept up and be put in a trash can where i belong away from everyone and when i see people get bullyed i help them and tell them stand up for your self and don’t let them get to you and there’s this song thats called little me by little mix that talks about bullying. When people get bullyed the people who are bullying them there just hurt so they hurt others.

Love, Nuresh

Dear Miss Kendra,

I thank you for sending me that letter back I cry everyday thinking about my mom can you send me a bead for my strength because I bet you know how i feel, but my mom died when I was three weeks old, I need you, Miss Kendra. P.S. This is me. Draw me back when you send me a real picture Please please please please please!!!!


Dear Miss Kendra,

One time where I had to be strong was where my mom’s old boyfriend Jimmie physically abused me and he picked me up by my neck, choked me, and threw me down the stairs, he punched a hole in my door he would steel money out of my moms purse and he threatened me if i told anybody he was abusing me he would kill me and my family and I felt that i had to stay strong and not tell anybody.

Sincerely, Charlie


Dear Miss Kendra,

I separated from my wife and kids last year and since I left my two boys I miss them so much. There is not a day that I don’t cry when I can’t see them. I always thought that I would raise my kids in my own home, and be with them every day. If left my wife because she would not stop fighting and screaming and I didn’t want my kids to be raised in that environment. I left because it was what I thought was the right thing to do, but there hasn’t been a single day that I don’t regret leaving. They ask me to stay and live with them again every day. They still cry when they ask me to stay and so do I when I tell them I cannot. This is my new life now….

I hope I and my kids can get used to being away from each other.

Thank you!