Construction almost complete on Uvalde Children’s Bereavement Center

“Our focus is on the children,” the CEO said.

In the year since the Robb Elementary shooting, the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas has been ingrained in the community providing free counseling.

“It’s been a hard year. I, I choose to look at it, though, as an opportunity that we had to make a difference,” Dr. Marian Sokol, CEO of the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, said.

The past year has shown there is no straight line to dealing with the grief, pain, and trauma of what happened in Uvalde last May.

“Getting through the trauma, the physical part, the reenacting of what the pain of those children and those teachers must have been. That is something that we’re still working on,” Dr. Sokol said.

She and her team have stayed busy helping kids and their parents move through feelings, all while building a permanent site.

“One year for that to coincide with the opening of our building. To me, that’s almost symbolic,” she said.

The space was donated by the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church next door.

The work being done inside is also being donated by several companies out of San Antonio and surrounding communities.

When it’s completed, there will be private counseling offices, art therapy rooms, and outdoor space to promote healing.

“We’re very excited. What I need now is to be able to find a couple more grief counselors who are qualified because we’ve gotten really busy and I know we’re going to get busier the first week of June,” Dr. Sokol said.

In June, the center is hosting a four-day grief camp.

Sokol said they need two masters-level grief therapists to help continue the important work they’ve started this last year.

“Now, maybe, hopefully, we’ve gotten through a lot of that pain of the first year and now we can really speak to each other together,” Dr. Sokol said.

The center being built has security features in place, like ballistic glass and locks on the doors.

The dedication ceremony for the permanent facility will take place on June 29th.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.