Extended Family for Kids programs are back in Cherokee County Schools with both in-person and virtual groups. Extended Family for Kids (EFK) is a 9 Lesson Program for students who have a loved one in jail or prison. Students who used to have someone incarcerated can join too.
To enroll a student, contact the school counselor or register online at www.extendedfamilyhelp.org. You can also call Extended Family at 256-927-7997 for more information.
In EFK, students get to complete fun activities that help them focus on making good choices. Lessons cover healthy ways to deal with stress and anger. Students learn they are not alone, and it is not their fault that their loved one made a poor choice.
“We focus on the child, not the incarcerated person. That focus is what has made Extended Family for Kids so successful,” said Laure Clemons, Extended Family Executive Director.
New this year is Virtual EFK, where students meet in Zoom Meetings on a weekly schedule. EFK Virtual Groups are led by a trained EFK Program Leader, with EFK Supplies shipped to a student’s home. To enroll for Virtual EFK, complete the confidential online enrollment form at www.extendedfamilyhelp.org/efk-ela -enrollment. Virtual EFK is also offered free of charge to students who have a loved one incarcerated.
EFK has also made safety guidelines a priority. Students are now provided with individual supply packs. EFK Leaders have temperate checks before each group and wear masks. Physical distancing space is provided for students and EFK Leaders.
“We created our EFK Safety Plan this summer, and made sure we had what each student needed so the supplies were theirs alone,” Clemons said. “The plan is for no one else to touch that that student’s supplies. Plus, students get to keep their supply bag, markers, handouts, and more at the end of the nine lessons.”
Extended Family for Kids has been in Cherokee County Schools since 2014, and is expanding into other counties as well. Cherokee County EFK Groups will begin in mid-February.