Testimonies

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TESTIMONIES FROM HOSPITAL & SCHOOL LEADERS:

St John’s Health - Art for Healing, Jackson Hole, WY
Children and families in a hospital setting experience a wide range of emotions. Incorporating healing arts is an important part of our approach to care. We don’t underestimate its lasting positive effects in a hospital, particularly on young patients. Art in healing spaces has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, pain and length of stays. Children see the world around them with a different lens than we do as adults. Art, when used as therapy, is part of nonverbal communication for children who may not be able to articulate their emotions and feelings. The donation of your expressive art coloring books are a powerful tool we have in our toolbox. - Blair Christy, director of art and healing.

Logan Health Children’s Hospital, MT
We have been honored to receive the Discover at The River expressive art coloring books and we have loved utilizing these books in both our inpatient and outpatient settings. The books serve as a wonderful diversionary tool for our patients and promote reflection and growth throughout the hospitalization experience. Our mission is to elevate and transform pediatric healthcare delivery for children and their family’s improving health and providing peace of mind. Through your donation of 1500 expressive art coloring books we have been able to touch children's lives throughout the state of Montana.– Carly Rickard, Chief Development Officer at Logan Health Children's

Banner Children’s at Thunderbird, Glendale, AZ 
Our patients have absolutely loved the coloring activity books. They are very popular with our teen population and our behavioral health patients. These books can keep the kids occupied for hours! They are truly beautiful and an important tool we have to use in helping our children and youth!  - Wendy Pauker, Associate Director of Child Life

Valley Wise Health Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ
I am a child life coordinator in Phoenix, AZ.  The books are great for many of our patients but they have been extremely helpful for our patients with mental health issues.  Unfortunately, many of the inpatient facilities that address these issues have a very long wait list and the patient stay in a general hospital until placement is available.  These books are a great way to build rapport as well as an opportunity to learn more about each other and a great entryway into some therapeutic conversations. Children are still learning so much about the world around them and how they fit.  It’s nice to help them navigate and be a positive impact in their lives. Your expressive art coloring activity books are a great tool to help dive deeper into therapeutic conversations. -  Kyla Brown, Child Life Coordinator, Valleywise Health Medical Center

Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, CA
We have been using your expressive art coloring books books at Rady Children’s Hospital for several years now. Our patients really enjoy these coloring books because it helps them express themselves in different ways. As a Child Life Specialist, I have used these books in 1 on 1 interactions with patients and it helps open up avenues for discussion, especially with teens. I have been a Child Life Specialist for over 20 years and I love working with children and being able to help them cope with illness, new diagnosis and hospitalization. These coloring books are not just any coloring books! They provide a way for our patients to express themselves in a totally non-threatening way. Our patients love these books and we hope for continued support by donors to provide this wonderful service. -Lisa Tweed, MS, CCLS, Child Life Specialist

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, CA
A gift like a coloring book can be just what a child needs to put a smile on their face after a last chemo treatment or spending a birthday in the hospital. A gift like yours puts patients at ease, bringing joy to our hospital. We are grateful for friends like you who want to give back, and support us in our mission to help patients and their families enjoy healthy lives. Thank you again for all your efforts in organizing this project in support of patients and families at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. - Child Life

Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, CA
The Discover at The Ocean book is amazing and our pediatric patients love it! We would love to have these books to give to every one of our patients in the seven through teen age group. The books are such a great tool for distraction, diversion and self-expression. We love working with children and youth in the hospital setting to educate about their health/procedures/diagnosis, guide to promote positive coping during their hospitalization, provide normalcy during crisis, and distract with bedside activities.  Your books are an important tool in helping our children cope with what they are experiencing in a positive and healthy way. Rita Goshert MA, CCLS Director Cherese Mari Laulhere  Child Life Program at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital

Valley Children's Healthcare, Madera, CA
The coloring books are so great and patients are enjoying them.  They are giving patients the opportunity for self-expression to those who already have an interest in the outdoors and equally to those who have not yet had experiences with nature. This is a wonderful addition to the tools we use to help our patients. Thank you for including Valley Children’s and the Child Life Program in this initiative. - Rose Luna, Child Life

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, CA
We all recognize that being in the hospital can be a very emotional experience and being able to express those feelings is an important part of the coping process. Your generous donation will be a great way for children of all ages to find ways to capture their feelings in artwork and writing. You can be sure that the books will be used by our patients in our in-patient areas, especially with those having long-term stays. Thank you for the positive impact you are having with the children who need it the most! We appreciate you very much!! – Child Life Specialist, Doug Leffin

Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children, HI
We are so grateful to you for your beautiful Discover at The Ocean expressive art coloring books. We are the leading center caring for children across all of our islands and the Pacific Basin, so the impact of your books is so far reaching. You will touch the lives of so many patients and really keep their spirits up and positive. Thank you for your wonderful donations to us. – Child Life Specialist, Emily Torres

The Children’s Hospital at Providence Alaska, AK
These expressive art coloring books are a wonderful tool of expression for our patients and siblings. Many of the images are representative of the natural beauty we are lucky enough to be surrounded by here in Alaska. The images really seem to resonate with the patients here. We also appreciate the simplicity of the prompts which allows each child to really make it their own. We are using them in a variety of ways – they are available to children in the pediatric unit, passed out in sibling coping bags, utilized in our pediatric ER and more. Thanks again for your work and dedication! – Child Life Specialist, Michelle

The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, TX
We are so thankful for your creative coloring books! They are a great resource for our patients of all ages! Thank you for all your hard work and we are honored to get to partner with you! – Child Life Specialist, Jessica Clayton

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, NY
Thank you so much for your generous donation of Expressive Art Coloring Activity Books to our hospital!  We are very appreciative of this donation as it allows us to provide a creative outlet and form of distraction to many of our current pediatric patients. Because of our COVID protocols, all supplies that go to our patients must be personalized and individual to the patient, which has proved to be difficult. We truly appreciate the care, love and thought you have put into these coloring books.  Thirteen-year-old Maria Fareri, the extraordinary girl for whom the Children’s Hospital is named, had a special wish “for the health and well-being of all the children of the world.” Guided by Maria’s wish, her parents John and Brenda helped lead the design and creation of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, which today continues to specialize in advanced family –centered care in a nurturing environment. The spirit of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is one of community and helping hands. We are so grateful to have you join the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital family of donors; these amazing and beautiful expressive therapy coloring books will surely make a difference for our patients while they are receiving care at MFCH.  Thank you for thinking of the patients and families of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. – Gabrielle Grimaldi Bellettieri, Creative Art Therapist, Psychotherapist.

Golisano Children’s Hospital, Rochester, NY
NICU parents and older siblings have said they really benefitted from reflecting on and answering the questions as well as coloring the pages in your expressive art books.  They became calmer and more relaxed after engaging in the activity. The books are also a wonderful resource for stress management and social emotional wellness. -Chris Tryon MS CCLS, Certified Child Life Specialist IV– NICU

Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, West Islip, NY
Thank you for your donation to our Child Life team!  We will use your expressive art coloring books in our work with children on our Pediatric unit, in our Pediatric Emergency Department and with the children of adult patients who are seen by our Child Life Specialists when a parent or loved one dies. Our pediatric unit has changed during the pandemic and much of our support has been for children grieving losses on many levels. Your books will be used by our child life team to support children in the hospital and community heal. We will share with our hospice team for their Child and Family support groups, unfortunately there is a great need. Thank you for all you do for children, families and children’s hospitals. – Kate Fenton MBA, CCLS, Director Child Life Program, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center

Maimonides Children's Hospital Brooklyn, NY 
Thank you for providing us with your healing art coloring books! They will bring a lot of comfort to pediatric patients who are isolated in their rooms during this COVID-19 crisis as well as provide an important therapeutic outlet for them. This time period has been incredibly difficult for us and our patients/families- so much fear, anxiety and stress.  I cannot fully express how much we appreciate your offer to support us and our children, except to say that it is akin to someone throwing us a life raft during a time when we feel like we’re barely staying above water. – Child Life Specialist, Camille Sato

Saint Peter’s University Hospital in NJ

Thank you for such a great resource for our teen patients here at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Jersey. Our child life team will share these books with our patients in our Peds/PICU inpatient units, Peds ED and pediatric out-patient clinic. We are always looking for new resources for our children and teenagers and your book will help to ease some fear and tension with our patients. Thank you for this great donation! – Kristal R Neal, Child Life

The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University, New Brunswick, NJ.
We have just received a donation of your wonderful coloring books, and we absolutely LOVE them! I love the designs you did and how they can be used by a variety of ages. I personally look forward to using them with a lot of our teenagers that are dealing with chronic illness and pretty frequent hospitalizations. I think this is a great resource for us as Child Life Specialists to allow our patients a safe space to express themselves using art, words or both, and then giving them the opportunity to share any of it with us if they so choose. Through your books, you will be touching the hearts of so many children and families all over the world and helping to improve their lives. Thank you for sharing this resource with us! – Child Life Specialist, Alexa Curtis

St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA
Thank you for your beautiful expressive art coloring books! We use them to work with patients for art therapy and to work out feelings. We help children on so many levels because we are based in a low socio-economic area in which children have more than health concerns when coming thru our doors. Your books are so much more than a coloring book, the reflective questions provide valuable opportunities for processing, healing and growth. Child Life

University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, MD
Your expressive art coloring books have been a wonderful resource for facilitating self-expression and helping to build rapport with children/teens admitted for behavioral health crisis intervention. We want every child and youth to feel valued and to know their voice matters. Your books help our kids recognize their strengths and build coping techniques to help them in the hospital and in their lives overall. Thank you for your donation! - Shannon Joslin, M.S., CCLS, Child Life Manager

Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, MA

We just received your donation of expressive art coloring books and our team is really looking forward to sharing these with our patients throughout all of the pediatric areas of our hospital! The coloring pages of nature and wildlife are so beautiful and are really great for so many ages. Thanks for creating these books to help encourage children and youth on their journey and to give them a way to help express what they’re going through. We’re truly grateful! – Child Life Specialist, Jessie Hagerman

Duke Children’s Hospital, NC
Thank you for your wonderful expressive art coloring activity books. We use the books as a way for patients to express their emotions following a trauma, loss, or during hospitalization. We appreciate the blank spaces for children & teens to express feelings in an open-ended way. For example, the prompts aren't specific to traumatic events (accident, death, etc.) but are very open to interpretation by the child or teen. - Renee Hunte, Chiild Life

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Aflac Cancer Center, GA
We just received a donation of your expressive art coloring books. They are beautiful and such a special item to give our patients. We cannot thank you enough for fulfilling your passion and sharing it with children throughout the country!  - Sara Venker

Studer Family Children’s Hospital, FL

We are so excited to begin using your expressive art coloring books for therapeutic interventions with our patients. We love the focus on different reflections while also allowing a spot for journaling or free expression. The coloring pages will surround the children and teens with the beauty of nature that they are missing while being in the hospital. What a great thing you created and we are so thankful for your donation! Child Life Specialist, Sydney

St Joseph Children’s Hospital, Tampa, FL
As Supervisor of Child Life at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, I can speak to the wonderful benefits of the Expressive Art Coloring Books in the hospital setting. Here at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, we see a variety of patients of all ages with a variety of medical needs. Going through any healthcare experience as a child can be traumatic, our goal as Child Life Specialist's is to help patients cope in this unfamiliar environment. By providing emotional expression activities, we are able to allow for a sense of control and mastery. These Expressive Art Coloring Books are the perfect resource to facilitate alongside our patients but also to utilize as a resource on an individual basis. Kacie Webster, Child Life Supervisor

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL
Thank you for providing your expressive art coloring books to our Child Life team!  We love the way you created the books in a way that is very appropriate for all ages. The coloring pages are simple enough the younger children can do them but they are not childish so we can use them with our teen patients as well. We also appreciate how you included simple questions for the children and youth to reflect on which fills their minds with positive thoughts and helps them realize how strong, courageous and brave they truly are. It also helps them evaluate so many beautiful pieces of their lives. Your books are truly a gift.– Child Life Specialist, Tricia T.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN
Thank you so much for donating your expressive art coloring books to our children! We are very excited to receive these and know that the patients are going to love them! Thank you so much! – Erin Rothwell (Child Life)

CoxHealth Dee Ann White Children's Hospital, Springfield, MO
The Discover coloring books are amazing for our pediatric patients. These books are a great addition to helping our patients cope positively while in the hospital setting. Due to COVID-19 our patients are unable to walk the halls of the hospital and are often confined to their rooms, having the Discover coloring books allows our patients a little escape and assists in promote guided imagery, reducing stress and anxiety as well as being fun to color! My role as a CCLS is to reduce stress and anxiety and The River coloring books help me do my job better. - Kayleigh Stark, BS, CCLS, CPST,CMPT

Children’s Hospital of Michigan, MI
Having the opportunity to engage in a normalizing activity like coloring can be so helpful for patients and their families in coping with hospitalization. Not only does coloring help to provide a way to pass time and keep engaged, it is also a familiar and comforting activity to many, which is so valuable in a place that can often be very unfamiliar, scary or overwhelming like a hospital. Thank you for providing the opportunity for our patients and families to engage with this important therapeutic book! - Child Life Projects Specialist, Sinead Nimmo

Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, WI
Being in the hospital is difficult with new/scary/often painful experiences, and many times kids don’t have the skills or knowledge needed to help them cope through it.  Teaching them coping skills is incredibly important because it is likely that they will need to return to the doctor at some point in their lives, and if they are given/taught coping skills early on, those future experiences will be more manageable.  I also enjoy working with children and youth because not everyone understands the importance of play.  Children need play, art, music, activities to work through and process the hard stuff.  As a child life specialist, I get to create opportunities for children and families to work through hard topics utilizing play as a modality to do that. Your expressive art coloring books help the children and youth we care for discover they can make it through the hard times they are experiencing and provides a valuable resource for us to initiate deeper conversations about their thoughts and emotions. - Taryn Wleelock, Child Life

Marshfield Children’s Hospital, WI
We just received a donation of your expressive art coloring books and our team could not be more excited! The coloring pages are so beautiful and perfect for all ages, children through teens. These books are going to be used with our Oncology, Neurology, Rehab, and Hematology patients! These will be a great expressive activity for them! Thank you for doing something so positive for patients in the hospital. Your mission is incredibly moving. Thank you for this generous donation, you are impacting SO many lives! – Child Life Specialist, McKenzie

Advocate Children's Hospital, Park Ridge, IL

I have seen the impact that Discovery Art for Youth coloring books has on our teen population. It is not always common to receive a donation that is geared toward the older youth population. As a Child Life Specialist who sees primarily teens, I couldn't be more thankful for this. Lengthy hospitalizations and new diagnoses have such an impact on teenagers, and it is great to have a resource that helps promote utilization of positive coping skills during such challenging experiences. – Child Life

Children’s Hospital University of Illinois

When a child or family faces hospitalization, there are many emotions and challenges that come along with their medical experiences. Hospitals rely on donations and outside programs immensely to help children cope with these challenges. Your expressive art coloring books are used frequently to help manage pain in an alternative way and allow children an outlet to express emotions. Engaging in art can reduce stress, anxiety, pain, and length of admissions. Even children who are nonverbal and cannot articulate how they are feeling, can use art to express themselves and process their experiences. Your books are unique because they are simple, but appropriate for children and teenagers of all ages. We love the format of the book with simple reflective questions and space for self-expression on the left and inspiring coloring pages of nature and wildlife on the right. The questions foster creativity, imagination and growth. As the children interact with the pages it provides a calming way to cope with what they are experiencing.  Thank you to your gift to our child life team and children here in Chicago!”-Dana Thornquist, MS, CCLS

Riffenburg Elementary, Fort Collins, CO
At Riffenburgh Elementary, we used Discover at The River for part of our SEL curriculum for the 2021-2022 school year.  Riffenburgh has always had a high trauma population and we are committed to developing the Social Emotional Learning and resiliency skills with all of our students.  These books assist us in providing learning on a new and different platform for students. Like most people in education, we see children and youth as the future and want to ensure we develop hopeful and helpful skills to make the world a better place.  ​It is part of our goal at Riffenburgh to help children succeed in all areas of life. At our school, we have always used coloring as a regulation strategy.  Discover at The River has been instrumental in our teaching of SEL and helping teach students how to use coloring as a form of mindfulness.  – Jenn Johsnon, Counselor

Miles Elementary School, Tampa, FL
Your expressive art books have been such a wonderful gift to our school. Many of our students have experienced trauma in their lives. My co-counselor and I use art therapy with many of our students. Art therapy is a great rapport building activity. Children love to be doing an activity while they are having a conversation. Your books are designed in a way that the children feel safe to talk about their feelings while coloring the beautiful nature scenes and wildlife. We have many wonderful conversations with students while doing art together. We were able to talk about important words with them like acceptance, love, authenticity, and roots. Many of our students have brought the books to individual counseling sessions to talk about pieces they have journaled in. The books have been an amazing resource to for our school.  - Kelly Rashford, School Counselor

Heritage Elementary, CO
I have been using this book all year with my 3rd 4th and 5th graders and it has been an amazing experience. Each week as the School Psychologist I come into the classrooms and work through the book for 30 minutes. I have been creating a social-emotional lesson the week before and then getting into the coloring and lesson on the page the following week. For example, before the JOY page, we made JOY in bubble letter and filled it with things that bring us joy, we had a conversation about being happy and then the following week had the chance to work on the joy page. This has been such an amazing experience for my students and I. We have been using the Discover at The River book for social-emotional learning in our school throughout the year. Upon the return from a shutdown of in-person learning, this has been a FANTASTIC resource to help facilitate and teach social-emotional learning. Our students are practicing character traits, coping skills and remembering to show kindness for their classmates and themselves. I can't recommend this resource enough! As a School Psychologist this is one of my favorite tools to work with classes. – Adam Parker, Counselor

Lamb Elementary School, Tampa, FL
Thank you for your donation of your beautiful expressive art coloring activity books for our students! We will be using the books as curriculum for Social Emotional Learning. At the school, we have a high behavioral needs population and the character development will certainly help with our efforts to help them develop sustainable positive traits.  Thank you!

Weatherbee Elementary School, Ft. Pierce, FL
Thank you for donating your Discover at The Ocean books for our students! We use your books with our third-fifth grade students demonstrating anxiety, depression, adjustment problems, or trauma in order to increase mindfulness and coping skills. Our school is a Title 1 school with 100% Free & Reduced Lunch where all students receive breakfast and lunch at no cost. Your books use ocean nature to walk readers through a journey culminating in the leaves of their trees impacting the world around them. Many of our kids live within miles of the ocean and they have never even see it. One day maybe you can come do a workshop with our kids and we can take them to the beach for the first time! Thank you for creating such a beautiful and powerful resource to help our kids dream, discover and realize their lives matter in this world!