An empty classroom (Photo: Daniel J. Groshong/BB)

The New York Life Foundation is turning its Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative pilot program into an ongoing, national program.

The foundation announced Wednesday that it plans to train thousands of New York Life employees and agents to offer teachers presentations on grief in schools.

Schools can then apply for grants they can use to get credentialed as grief-sensitive schools.

(Related: Natural Disaster Victims Face Losses of Many Kinds)

The foundation joined with the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement to start the Coalition to Support Grieving Students in 2013.

The coalition set up a grief-sensitive school designation pilot program in 2016.

About 400 schools have completed the grief-sensitive school designation process.

The initial presentations include information about the prevalence of childhood grief, information about free online resources aimed at teachers, and a state-by-state guide to local grief organizations and camps.

About one in 15 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling by age 18, according to estimates cited by the New York Life Foundation.

More information about the grief-sensitive schools program is available here.

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