Coalition member Kelly Colgate helps children and teens cope with COVID-19 stress and the upending of school

School has changed! After the unexpected months-long break, our children, teens, teachers, counselors and staff are working together to design new methods and schedules around teaching and learning.

While students might enjoy their time off, it can also put some children at risk. Loss of social contacts and favorite extracurricular activities might cause feelings of isolation or even depression. Children who need special services might not get them as often as needed. And because teachers, counselors, and other adults don’t see them as often, signs of abuse or neglect could go unnoticed.

kelly colgate counselorCoalition member and Chase City Elementary counselor Kelly Colgate is working hard to stay connected to students. Her new website, “Mrs. Colgate’s Counseling Corner,” is a treasure trove of lessons, videos, and resources for children and their caregivers. The site is packed with activities and content that promote mindfulness, resilience, and overall wellness and are appropriate for independent or guided experiences. Kelly’s lessons are specifically designed for Chase City’s PreK to 5th grade students, but their caregivers and siblings could come away with something, too.

Here are some examples:

Chase City Elementary students can easily find Kelly’s website from within the school’s learning management system, and throughout the site, she’s left contact information so students and their grown-ups can get in touch when they need to. Once they get to the website, the lessons and messages for their grades are laid out right on the homepage. Kelly includes hopeful messages in her lessons and encourages students to send her a note, call her or set up a Google Meet time so they can catch up and talk about how things are going.

At a time when the world is upside down, our community’s children and teens need stability from the adults in their lives. Kelly has done a remarkable job using technology to create this channel of support and open communication for her students.

Kelly has served Chase City Elementary School as the school counselor for the past 25 years. She is part of the ACE Interface team from Southside Behavioral Health and has completed Trauma Practitioner training through the Community Resilience Initiative. As a Mindful Educator, Kelly uses yoga and mindfulness with her students to teach self-regulation and social-emotional literacy. She offers yoga classes in the community to combat the effects of stress and to improve well-being.

Contact Kelly at

Attend Adverse Childhood Experiences training with Kelly and SWC Fiscal Agent/SBH Prevention Coordinator Kenan Tyner-Smith. REGISTER TODAY

More resources

Child Trends: Resources for supporting children’s emotional well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic

Virginia Department of Education: Social emotional wellness: Considerations for parents and caregivers

CDC: COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit

Southside Behavioral Health: Children and Family Services