Youth Wellbeing Project

A Prevention & Restorative Justice Program


SafeArt’s Youth Wellbeing Project addresses the critical need for prevention and restorative justice programming for children and juveniles in Vermont communities.  This project will provide customized workshops for clients referred to us by restorative justice organizations and community justice centers. As a preventative strategy SafeArt facilitators will also offer afterschool art classes middle school students, as well as school residencies K-12. Our trauma-informed programming will focus on pro-social engagement, self-esteem building, identifying triggers as well as healthy choices, tools and strategies in response to triggers.  All programming will include mindfulness, creative movement, yoga, meditation and other body-centered therapies.

The Youth Wellbeing Project benefits not only the youth directly involved in the justice system, but their classmates, friends, families, and their communities at large. The healing of the youth involved in our program has a ripple effect, restoring wellbeing and peace in their interpersonal relationships. Involvement in restorative justice furthermore significantly lowers the likelihood of repeated violence and crime creating stronger and safer communities.

Thank you to our generous donors!

This program is generously funded through a three-year grant from the Canaday Family Charitable Trust

As well as a one-year grant from the Couch Family Foundation.

Vermont Mutual Charitable Giving Fund

Our Program Model

We support young people to use creative expression and mindfulness practices to foster self-awareness and heal from traumatic experiences.  All of our programming utilizes the expressive arts as the primary vehicle of exploration, including visual art, movement, creative writing and poetry, music, and theater games.  We aim to create a non-judgmental, all-inclusive space where young people feel free to express themselves and take risks.

Examples of Topics Addressed:

SafeArt’s Youth Wellbeing Project is tailored to meet the needs of the participating youth. We will customize workshops and individual sessions to address issues of need. Some examples of topics we may address include:

    • Self-esteem
    • Body image
    • Consent
    • Healthy relationships
    • Bullying
    • Sexual harassment
    • Grief
    • Sexual violence
  • Family violence
Learning Objectives for Youth:
    • Develop their sense of self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, self-trust and self-advocacy
    • Apply mindfulness to speech and action
    • Practice healthy self-expression and positive self-identity
    • Learn tools to bring their nervous system back into balance when triggered
    • Use visual art to calm anxiety and express creativity
  • Explore their past choices and learn how to make healthier decisions
4 C’s – Our toolbox
    • Centering exercises – mindfulness, meditation, yoga, qigong
    • Circle practices – listening, presence, gratitude, sharing
    • Creative expression – art, music, drama, movement, writing
  • Community action – volunteer projects, service work, advocacy  


Detailed descriptions of both of these formats are available upon request.

    • Workshop Series: 5-week series of afterschool sessions on Tuesdays, or 2 Saturday half-day workshops. Flexibility in day and time of workshops is possible depending on your client’s availability. Workshops may take place in the SafeArt office in Chelsea, middle- or high schools, or other agreed upon location.
  • Individual Sessions: We offer individual sessions with a SafeArt facilitator for young people for whom a one-on-one session is more appropriate or who are unable to attend workshops. These sessions range between 60-90 minutes, and can be conducted at the SafeArt office in Chelsea, or any other agreed upon location.

Sliding Scale Policy

We ask that a nominal sliding-scale fee be contributed to help us cover our costs. The fee depends on the type of program support requested. We are committed to making this program accessible to all youth. Please contact us with questions or concerns.

Facilitators: click to go to bio page

Perry Bellow-Handelman

Zoë Boucher

To schedule an individual session or a workshop, please contact our Youth Program Coordinator, Perry Bellow-Handelman (see contact information below).  SafeArt is also currently accepting applications from K-12 schools for a Youth Wellbeing Residency. Please submit a write-up including any specific areas of need to Perry Bellow-Handelman, Youth Program Coordinator at 802-685-3138 or