Helping Children Heal

12-21-2011 10:10 AM

The prevention of domestic violence is one of the most important issues we support.  Not only do we provide $3 million in grants to domestic violence shelters each year through The Mary Kay Foundation, we also fund and support a number of programs addressing domestic violence.  Perhaps one of the most unique programs we fund is the Nature Explore Classroom. 

Nature Explore Classrooms are outdoor learning spaces designed to include nature in the daily lives and learning of children.  Research shows that nature buffers the impact of life stress on children and helps them deal with adversity.  It also helps reduce or eliminate anti-social behavior such as violence, bullying and vandalism – all of which are common in children who have witnessed abuse.  

Nature Explore Classrooms are traditionally constructed in areas where children can normally access including schools, parks and child care centers.  However, children who are currently residing at a women’s shelter with their mothers, rarely have access to these locations because of the precarious nature of protecting a mother and a child from the potential abuser.  Bringing these outdoor environments to domestic violence shelters provides these children with yet another powerful tool to help them deal with the horrendous abuse they may have witnessed. 

Since 2009, Mary Kay has funded 13 Nature Explore Classrooms in nine states.  We are proud to announce 2011 Nature Explore Classroom Recipients.
• Family Violence Prevention Services in Texas
• HELP  USA in New York
• Partnership Against Domestic Violence in Georgia
• Safe Horizon in New York