© 2018 by Joni Hay Patras


Hi! Thanks for stopping by to visit my website. My writing interest began as a child. I loved to write poems and plays in elementary school. Melissa, my little sister, enjoyed playing a part in the plays we would perform at family gatherings. (She's still my best friend today.)

Writing picture books sparked my interest when I began a career as an elementary school counselor. I had the BEST audience to test out by stories during guidance lessons!

I created a blog, Looking For Rainbows, to help children look for rainbows on stormy days. My blog will provide information to benefit the emotional, social, and academic needs of children.

Check out my Pinterest page for activities to use in the classroom to promote a safe and kind environment. Also, take a look at the RESOURCE page that contains a comprehensive list of the latest articles, organizations, apps, and books for helping children/teens.


Getting to know Joni:

I have a daughter and son that keep me very busy! (The pictures were taken when they were little.)

We have a chocolate labradoodle, named Belle, who loves to play frisbee. 

Favorite Activities:
Spending time with my family, gardening, playing the flute, Zumba, and Kickboxing.

Unique Facts:

I went skydiving with two of my crazy friends. (BK- Before KIDS!)


I purchased a red guitar last year. My dad plays in a classic rock band, so hoping we can play together one day.

My mom acted for years in a local volunteer theater group who performs plays for kids.







Joni's journey to help children began in 1998 after receiving a Master’s Degree in Elementary School Counseling from the Pennsylvania State University. She worked as an elementary school counselor in Maryland and Pennsylvania.  

In 2004, Joni trained to become a volunteer support group facilitator for the Safe Harbor Bereavement Program at Abington-Jefferson Health Hospital in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Safe Harbor is a center that facilitates support groups for children/teens who are grieving a significant loss. The center has a volcano room, art rooms, sand table, music room, activity room, and a stuffed animal room for opening circle. Currently, she's a facilitator for the 6-to-7 age group. Safe Harbor offers a week long camp every summer called Camp Charlie.

In 2016, Joni began taking Trauma courses including information on how the brain is affected by trauma, types of trauma, and ways to treat individuals impacted by trauma. She will begin the third class, Applying Trauma Principles, in summer 2018. After the completion of all three courses, Joni will receive a certification as a Trauma-Competent Professional.

After completing the trauma courses, she plans on becoming certified in play therapy.


Represented by C.Y.L.E.  


The fluffy dog pictured below is our family dog, Belle. She's a medium sized chocolate Labradoodle. Belle's crazy personality inspired me to write a picture book series.


After co-facilitating groups at Safe Harbor Bereavement Center for a few years, I wrote a picture book that deals with children's grief. The book has a special place in my heart because it was inspired by the children at Safe Harbor.  I have been a volunteer support group facilitator since September 2004.

Children's Grief Awareness Day is designed to help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children. This day is observed every year on the third Thursday in November. This time of year is a particularly appropriate time to support grieving children because the holiday season is often an especially difficult time after a death.


Children's Grief Awareness Day seeks to bring attention to the fact that often support can make all the difference in the life of a grieving child.  Check out their website to learn how you can participate in this day.



To contact Joni

Tel: 215-880-2692 | patrasjoni@yahoo.com

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