To provide quality services that ensure children, families, and early childhood professionals have access to empathic and informed support services for childhood loss and grief.
Family-Centred Practice: Children’s Healing Studio Ltd. recognizes families as the experts on their child. We develop relationships with families to make informed decisions about their child’s care and we use family-centred practice to inform our workshops for early childhood professionals.
Empathy: Children’s Healing Studio Ltd. leads with empathy. In order to develop individualized interventions/workshops that meet the need of each individual’s grief experience and knowledge, we believe it is important to place ourselves in the position of the receiver.
Respect for Diversity: Children’s Healing Studio Ltd. recognizes individuality. We respect and appreciate differences in ethnicity, gender, age, physical abilities, sexual orientation, education and religion. We recognize each individuals’ diverse grief perspective, experience, knowledge, and culture. We strive for each individual to feel valued, respected, and supported.
Trust: Trust is the foundation of Children’s Healing Studio Ltd. With our feet rooted in trust we strive to build relationships with clients; be honest in our communication and conduct; and allow for transparency without compromising confidentiality.
My name is Dr. Elena Merenda and I am the owner and sole consultant at Children’s Healing Studio Ltd. I have more than 15 years of experience in early learning and therapeutic settings. My background is in early childhood education, with a specific expertise in therapeutic play and supporting families with children who have special needs, including terminal illness, grief, and diagnosed disabilities.
Opening a Children’s Healing Studio Ltd. focused on supporting children through the grieving process has always been a personal and professional goal of mine because my father died when I was sixteen years old and support from my teachers and community was nonexistent. My father was diagnosed with Lymphoma. His cancer began with a tumor on his spine and one year later, it ended with sorrow for my mom, my two younger sisters who were ten and thirteen at the time, and me. At an age when life already seemed so complicated, it suddenly became insufferable for me. I remained home from school for two weeks after my father died. I remember feeling scared to go back to school because I did not know how I would be treated or what other students would say about me. I was also unsure about how my teachers would treat me. The last thing I wanted was for them to expect less of me because of my circumstances. To my surprise and eventual disbelief and disappointment, my loss was not even acknowledged by any of my teachers. I remember walking into my first class and feeling embarrassed because the other students were looking at me and talking to each other about “the girl whose father died.” At a time when I needed someone to talk to, the teacher’s lack of acknowledgement left me feeling alienated and alone.
I was not the only child in my family to experience a difficult return to school. The middle child, who was thirteen at the time, also returned to school two weeks after my father died. The day of her return was the first time since my dad’s funeral that she saw her best friend. Upon my sister’s arrival, her best friend hugged her and welcomed her back to school. In a matter of minutes, my sister and her friend were taken to the principal’s office and my mom was called to have my sister taken home because she broke the “hands off” rule. At a time when my sister needed a hug and to feel welcomed, she was made to feel belittled. You can only imagine how my mother felt when she was called to retrieve her daughter for hugging her friend after the death of her father. Children, at any age, should not feel alone, alienated, or unsupported by their educators at such a difficult time in their lives. I truly believe my grief experience would have been very different had I received some emotional support from the adults with whom I spent most of my day.
My goal is to provide a safe space for children at the Children’s Healing Studio Ltd. The Children’s Healing Studio Ltd. is a place where children who are experiencing a wide range of difficult life circumstances can explore and express their emotions through play. It is a place where families can find professional support and advice, and a space where educators can learn how children grieve various losses and the role of the educator in supporting children through the grief process.
My name is Lisa Toma and I am a certified life coach, creator of “My Little Gratitude Journal,”certified kids yoga teacher, youth coach and mentor and certified in children and youth mental health, wellness and mindfulness. I have over 20 years of experience working with children from newborn to teens and I am also a mom of 3 little ones myself. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I envision the world to be a place where every child has the confidence and belief to be everything they desire.
I value inner peace, self-giving, discovery, transformation and accomplishments.
My mission is to empower children and youth by helping them find their purpose, self love and true passions through all of their struggles, obstacles and journey of self discovery. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I want to help each child build resilience, confidence, healthy emotions and to dream bigger than they could imagine. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I support the process of growth and self discovery and I will show my support through my mindfulness workshops and coaching for children and youth.
As a child once said to me “Make everything light up!” So here I am making everything inside me light up and following my heart to be with children who have always filled my heart. I am beyond excited and grateful for this new journey with Dr. Elena Merenda who has sparked my soul with her beautiful light, and Lisa Toma who is another beautiful soul I have had the pleasure to work with, learn from and join in an everlasting friendship with. As well with all the new children, families and professionals I will connect with.
My name is Cristina Cammisa and I have been working with children from ages 6 months to 12 years for the past 15 years. My travels from summer camps, to childcare, into school boards, and most recently, where I found my most authentic self…the forest. I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator, teacher, and forest and nature school practitioner. I am a stepmom to two amazing children who have shown me the true meaning of love and patience. I am currently completing a course to teach children about chakras, family/kid’s yoga and mindfulness.
My passion has always been to love and share lasting memories with children that supports their well-being and learning with them to bring out their most authentic selves. If children can’t learn the way we teach, it is our responsibility to teach the way they learn. Isn’t it?
I am blessed to have spent so much time being with children. I have never seen myself as a “teacher”, but as a person who guides magical little humans to find the best in themselves. Truly through this journey I have learned so much from them. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned from children is the importance of being in the present moment, and for that I am forever grateful.
Children are the light that as adults sometimes we can’t see. I am looking forward to this new and refreshing journey with all those I come across.
“While we try to teach our children all about life our children teach us what love is all about” -Angela Schwindt