Tu Nidito Children and Family Services is using a $100,000 grant to provide free grief support to children in outlying areas of Pima County.

The two-year grant from the New York Life Foundation's national Grief Reach Program will enable Tu Nidito to provide grief support groups for children ages 3 1/2 to 18.

Support groups will meet for 90 minutes one weekday evening for eight weeks at Copperview Elementary School in Sahuarita and Cottonwood Elementary School in Vail.

Groups begin on Thursday, March 28, in Sahuarita and Wednesday, April 3, in Vail.

Adult caregivers may attend a concurrent group, where they will learn how to best support their children.

Tu Nidito is the only agency in Southern Arizona providing child-centered grief support.

"Many people don't realize how many children are affected by grief. Nearly 20 percent of children will experience the death of someone close to them - parent, sibling, friend - before they turn 18," Tu Nidito Executive Director Liz McCusker said.

"We know that not every child grieving a death can come to us, and we're very excited about this opportunity to bring our services to them."

Tu Nidito helps children find healthy ways to process their grief and prevent unresolved childhood grief, which can include depression, health problems, anxiety, drug abuse, promiscuity, gang activity, truancy and suicide.

Contact Tu Nidito at or support@tunidito.org or 322-9155. Space is still available, but registration is required for participation. Volunteer opportunities are also available.