The Treehouse Club is an on-site social-emotional learning program for students in the Turlock Unified School District, which are conducted by caring adult volunteers who have been vetted and approved by TUSD as Character Coaches. Many of them are retired educators or counselors.
Treehouse Clubs meet in small groups for 1-hr sessions with students going through dramatic losses or emotional challenges caused by a variety of incidents like foster care, adoption, divorce, separation, abuse, incarceration, bullying, immigration, military deployments, etcetera. Parents or caretakers may nominate their students(s) for Treehouse programs. Since children often protect their parent or caretaker from their feelings, TUSD counselors may also identify students who could benefit from the program because they are heart broken, withdrawn, angry, lonely or afraid. Permission slips are required to participate in each program.
Expressive art, storytelling and interactive activities are used in every session. Volunteers listen with hearts and non-judgmental ears, guide and teach fragile students coping skills to be emotionally resilient and restored.
There are two Treehouse programs:
- The 6-week TRADITIONAL program deals with topics that affect ALL family changes named above. We discuss inter-personal connectedness, unhealthy emotions, coping skills, family changes, bullying and forgiveness.
- The 8-week DIVORCE program specifically focuses on DIVORCE. We discuss how family relationships change especially with stepparents and stepsiblings, moving between two homes, child versus adult control and responsibilities, feelings about divorce, coping skills, and heart connections with trusted persons that sustain and support students.