Resiliency and Wellness

Our Community Foundation has been working with partners across our region to help children and youth stay safe and powerful online and resilient in the face of ever increasing challenges of modern life. From the very real and documented negative impacts of social media, including cyberbullying, excessive screen time, and video game addiction, to the increase in isolation, anxiety and depression, worsened by the pandemic (including increased grief and loss), our youth are struggling in ever increasing numbers with mental health challenges. Explore our work with partners to address this issue by helping children, teens and families learn strategies be well and build resilience.

CyberStrong – Navigating the Internet Safely and Powerfully

In 2012, our Community Foundation awarded a  20th Anniversary Impact Grant to CyberStrong, a pilot project developed as a collaboration between Hilltop Community Resources, Mesa County Valley School District 51, the Mesa County Public Libraries, and Western Colorado Community Foundation. .  The effort is led and facilitated by Elizabeth Clark, MA, a therapist who specializes in teens and has studied the effects of the internet on children’s development for over a decade. Through community and classroom presentations, and a series of classroom videos on building Neuro Strength (link to full videos), Elizabeth gives teens, families and communities the tools to build “brain resilience” in order to navigate the internet and other challenges safely and powerfully.

View the entire series on Building Neuro Strength – Short clips designed to help high school students recognize how and why are brains get de-regulated, with easy tips and tools to help re-regulate.

For permission to use Building Neuro Strength in classrooms at no charge, please contact info@wc-cf.org

Regulation Station

Regulation Station is a pilot program developed by Elizabeth Clark and funded by our Community Foundation for use in Mesa County Valley School District 51 elementary school classrooms This project helps teachers understand and use strategies to help children focus and be “ready to learn”. The approach is based on the Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) and helps students and teachers create and maintain the best possible environment to support successful learning.

Focused Kids ™


FocusedKids™ is a program started by Kathy Hegberg, M.A., in 2013 in the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado. It is a simple curriculum of exercises for use in the classroom and at home, developed for ages 3-8.

Children, parents, and teachers learn about the brain using puppets to represent three parts, a brain chart, and a brain model. Following the brain lesson, they learn simple mindful exercises that support the development of executive function, including skills of self-regulation. Current research is finding that these are foundational skills essential to developing other abilities such as “prosocial” behavior, academic habits, and general life skills.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Hemera Foundation FocusedKids is able to share their curriculum at no cost on their website.

Click below to get a quick overview of the key concepts of the FocusedKids curriculum, the “Brain Lesson” and the “Calm Down Basket” by watching the following 13 minute video of an actual training. Everything about FocusedKids™ builds on these concepts and will place the rest of the information on the site in clearer context.

Getting Youth Outside

The Western Colorado Community Foundation works to connect all children and youth to public parks, outdoor recreation, wtih access to the ample resources we enjoy in western Colorado. Nature and the outdoors are proven wellness strategies for children and adults alike.

Explore our funding to help organizations in our seven counties get Youth Outside

Other Partners and Projects to Help Build Resiliency and Wellness Include:

Postvention Alliance/Western Slope Youth Voices

We Have The Mic (video link)

Getting Youth Outside

The Western Colorado Community Foundation works to connect all children and youth to public parks, outdoor recreation, wtih access to the ample resources we enjoy in western Colorado. Nature and the outdoors are proven wellness strategies for children and adults alike.

Explore our funding to help organizations in our seven counties get Youth Outside