Resources for School Professionals

Resources for School Professionals

Educational Programs and Trainings on Topics Related to the Impact of Cancer:

All workshops and trainings are free of charge and take place at Gilda’s Club Westchester. To sign up, please call 914.644.8844 or email

Save the Date:

The 9th Annual Cancer in the Classroom Symposium will be held on Wednesday February 3, 2021 in collaboration with Gilda's Club New York City and Gilda's Club Rochester. The half day symposium will be offered via ZOOM and is open to any school professional and is free of charge. The day will focus on supporting children, teens and school communities impacted by cancer. For more information, or to register, please contact Children, Teens and Families Manager Jaime Aker:

Gilda’s CLASS Support Group Handbook: A Facilitator’s Guide:

A handbook and training provided to middle and high school professionals so that schools have the necessary tools to implement support for students in their community. Within this guide, school professionals have access to a six-week support group for middle and high school students who have a family member living with cancer, as well as a six-week support group for middle and high school students who have experienced the death of a family member from cancer. Training is required in order to receive the Handbook. For upcoming training dates, please email

Gilda’s CLASS A Resource Guide for School Professionals:

This booklet is designed to provide straight-forward, accessible information on how to support children and teens impacted by cancer. It addresses a child’s cognitive understanding of cancer based on his or her age, common behaviors or reactions that school professionals may observe, how to talk to children about cancer, and helpful ways a school can respond when a child is diagnosed with cancer. An extensive list of resources is available to further support the school. To download your own copy of the Resource Guide, please click here.

Online Curriculum for Middle and High School Educators:

Interactive lessons for health and science teachers that cover age-appropriate cancer facts and dispel common cancer myths. Training is required to utilize the curriculum. For upcoming training dates, please email


Videos created by teens at Gilda’s Club Westchester sharing their experience with cancer. Watch the videos below

Glossary: A List of Cancer-Related Terms

A group of more than 100 diseases in which cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control.
Any substance that causes cancer or helps cancer grow.
A caregiver is anyone who provides physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or logistical support to a loved one with a chronic, disabling or life-threatening illness.
Treatment with drugs to destroy cancer cells.
A section of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that has information on hereditary traits such as hair color, eye color, and height, as well as susceptibility to certain diseases.
Cancerous; A tumor that is cancerous is called malignant.
Cells that make the skin coloring.
A cancerous (malignant) tumor that begins in the melanocytes.
A doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
A prediction of the course of disease. The outlook for the chances of survival.
The use of high-energy particles to destroy or damage cancer cells. It is one of the most common treatments for cancer.
Complete or partial disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer in response to treatment; the period during which a disease is under control.
Anything that is related to a person’s chance of getting a disease such as cancer.
14Secondhand Smoke:
Also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) or passive smoke. It is a mixture of 2 forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco: sidestream smoke (smoke that comes from the end of a lighted cigarette, pipe, or cigar) and mainstream smoke (smoke that is exhaled by a smoker).
An operation for the removal or change of a particular part of the body typically performed under an anesthetic.
A change in the body caused by an illness or condition, as described by the person experiencing it.

These definitions come from the websites of the Cancer Support Community and the American Cancer Society.

Watch the Videos


  • “I began volunteering at Gilda’s Club to honor the memory of a loved one. I hadn’t anticipated how stimulating and fulfilling the few hours spent at the front desk would be. I now count the warm, friendly and welcoming employees of the club my friends and have made close connections with other volunteers as well. I feel my day was a success when I can help a new member relax, feel at home, and perhaps share a laugh with me”
  • “When I first became a member at Gilda’s Club in 2005, I enjoyed the smiling faces of the receptionists when I would attend meetings. She always made me feel so welcome during a difficult time in my life. Fast forward to 2019. Now that I am retired, I knew one of the first things I’d want to do was volunteer at Gilda’s. I always look forward to sitting at the reception desk, answering the phones and welcoming the members. It’s great to feel like you are able to help someone during their difficult time”
  • “I’ve worked as a receptionist for seven years at Gilda’s club. During my shifts, I’m filled with tremendous gratitude to be part of such a giving and accomplished group of individuals. My time here has also been a reminder of the many positive emotional and social benefits of helping others. It’s wonderful to witness the strength of the brave, beautiful people who walk through our doors seeking support”
  • “It is a gift and a blessing to be able to contribute, even in a small way, to an organization that gives so much to so many people”
  • “Volunteering a the reception desk is the best way to see how amazing and supportive the programs are. You get to see the programs work and how grateful the members are for the reason they walked thru the red door”
  • “I’m proud to be a volunteer at Gilda’s Club Westchester. The appreciation of the staff and the connection with the members make it all worthwhile. It’s a great feeling evening having just a small role in an organization that strives to make a big difference in people’s lives”
  • “I benefit at Gilda’s Club by helping other people who have cancer get information, support and understanding as a cancer survivor myself!”
  • 5th Grade Teacher
    “I walked into Gilda’s Club Westchester and immediately felt at ease, enveloped in a space of integrity, honesty and warmth, where people were open to sharing thoughts expressing worries and exploring ways of healing. I had gone to the cancer Symposium to discover additional ways to support my student who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this school year and the rest of my class, and I left that afternoon empowered with ideas for activities and discussions that are meaningful and lasting, and support our entire school community. Gilda’s Club Westchester has a way of addressing difficult situations with such heartfelt honesty that the stories became shared expressions of hope and healing”
    5th Grade Teacher
  • Middle School student
    “This was my favorite health class.”
    Middle School student
  • School District Superintendent)
    “I personally believe that this program should be in every school district so that school professionals, parents and students can learn about cancer and understand the importance of emotional and social support.”
    School District Superintendent)
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