In Maricopa County Arizona, where ASK is headquartered, 34,262 children experienced the death of a parent in 2011. In Arizona State, 53,462 children were affected.
Nationally in 2011, 2.6 million children had at least one parent die.
That is over 216,000 children a month.
According to studies by Harvard and Arizona State University:
- Children under the age of 5 who experience the death of a parent are more at risk of poor long-term outcomes than older children.
- 20% of studied children had clinically significant levels of emotional and behavioral problems.
- In the studies, the loss of a mother was associated with more emotional/behavioral problems among children, including higher levels of anxiety, more acting-out behavior, and a lower belief in their own competence.
- Low self-esteem, behavioral issues, poor academic performance, loss of identity, depression and physical symptoms (stomach aches, headaches, unspecified pain) are some of the common symptoms experienced.
ASK is the only organization in the U.S. whose sole mission is to provide grants for extracurricular activities to these special children.
There is a real need to provide support for what many consider ‘extracurricular’ activities such as participation in sports, music, the arts or even a tutoring program to get back on track academically following the death of a parent.
It could be something as simple as continuing swim lessons, signing up for Little League, renting a musical instrument or participating on the debate team (just like Mom or Dad did when they were younger) that begins their journey of healing.
~ Karen Turner
Widowed Parent and
Founder of ASK