Blog Posts -- Solution stories

Schools’ Most Untapped Resource (ssir.org)

Green Schoolyards America connects ecological innovation with education, equity, and community engagement. What are we growing in our garden?” Wanda Stewart asks a class of third graders at Hoover Elementary School in Oakland, California. The room erupts with a garden medley: “Watermelon!” “Cherries!” “Spinach!” “Eggplant!” Then someone yells, “Mangoes!” and Stewart, Hoover’s gardening teacher, holds up her hand. “Can we grow mangoes in California?” she asks. “Mangoes need to grow in a...

Navigating the Holidays for Students with ACEs

Over the last few weeks, I have had countless conversations with schools about the uptick of behavioral issues this time of year. Many educators are recognizing that students with ACE’s have a tough time around the holidays, but very few people know what to do about it. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, below are the top three pieces of advice I have been sharing. Avoid some of the most common holiday traditions: When we have negative experiences, our brain latches on to everything...

Holiday Stress, Self Care and Mirror Neurons

With Thanksgiving behind us, and the new year looming ahead, we are clearly in the midst of the holiday season. It is easy to focus on our students and their behavior this time of year. However, I would like to turn the focus back on us: the educators, caregivers and administrators. Though it is likely for different reasons than our students, many of us find the holidays to be a rather stressful time. You may be hosting, cooking, traveling, shopping, wrapping, financially strained,...

A New Documentary About Breaking the Cycle of Trauma is Launching This Fall!

We are thrilled to announce the premiere of Wrestling Ghosts , a documentary about breaking the cycle of trauma, at the LA Film festival on Sept. 27th. “Incredible. Haunting and strange and beautiful and incredibly moving.” -Dan Cogan, Founder Impact Partners Wrestling Ghosts follows the epic inner journey of Kim, a young mother who, over two heartbreaking and inspiring years, battles the traumas from her past in order to create a new present and future for her and her family. In this...

Poet Linda McCarriston Reads “Hotel Nights With My Mother” (www.billmoyers.com/vimeo) & Note

I used to hate summers and holidays as a kid because it meant too much time at home and too much time, unstructured, with people who weren't safe. For me, that was my biological father, my first step-father and two step-siblings and I didn't hate long breaks and time away from school. I loved September and when Christmas break was over. This isn't a post about what happened to me as a kid. It's a reminder for teachers that home can be hard and what you do, allow, see and witness, even...

RYSE gathering: To promote healing from trauma, institutions need to stop seeing youth as the problem

A young man told clinical therapist Marissa Snoddy recently that when she calls him a leader, she got it all wrong. “He said, ‘I just came from Juvenile Hall,’ I’m not a leader.” But, she said, “We just kept giving him love. And we said, ‘You’re courageous for showing up and being here,’” The very fact that he was there, she explained, showed he was a leader. Snoddy related the anecdote recently for 80 people attending the Trauma and Learning Series launch led by Rising Youth for Social...

Everyday trauma reshapes Rochester schools' approach to teaching and supervision [DemocratandChronicle.com]

Gerson Garcia had been fighting. It happened during second-grade recess, and had to do with a ball on the playground. He was too angry to talk about it. One of his friends had seen him getting upset and alerted a teacher, who whisked him down the hallway at Enrico Fermi School 17, the skinny 8-year-old squirming in protest all the way. He ended up in the office of school sentry Miguel Rivera and — still not speaking — made a beeline for the trampoline. When Rivera started working in the...

LIVING SAFE: Back to school and behavioral health [www.yourhoustonnews.com]

by Katherine Cabaniss, Cypress Creek Mirror August 23, 2016 Students have returned to school. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are on their minds. Teachers, parents, administrators, and all who care about kids are focused first on academic achievement. In the Greater Houston area, one program focuses on students’ minds in a different way. Mental Health America of the Greater Houston Area (“MHA”) concentrates on kids’ mental health. MHA’s goals further not only student success, but also...

Schools find one simple answer to attendance problem: washing machines (today.com)

Two school districts have found that the secret to raising attendance rates in schools in low-income areas could be as simple as providing laundry machines. "One of my students had just sort of withdrawn from school completely," Alison Guernsey, a seventh grade English teacher in Fairfield, California, told TODAY Parents. "After we started the program, he was more excited about coming, and he started to be actively engaged in class. He didn't feel like an outsider anymore," she said. At...

Using Meditation to Help Close the Achievement Gap (nytimes.com)

(Image: Students meditating at Phillip and Sala Burton Academic High School in San Francisco.) Closing the so-called achievement gap between poor inner-city children and their more affluent suburban counterparts is among the biggest challenges for education reformers. The success of some schools’ efforts suggests that meditation might significantly improve children’s school performance – and help close that gap. A major factor preventing underserved children from learning is the stress they...

Thanks to One Mom, Schools Join the Farm-to-Table Movement (nationswell.com)

In New York’s Hudson Valley, farm-to-table food is no longer limited to upscale restaurants like Blue Hill Stone Barns. Because of mom Sandy McKelvey, fresh food grown on local farms is now bettering the fare in school cafeterias. The Farm-to-School movement took off in this rural, scenic region north of New York City in 2009, shortly after McKelvey and her family moved to Cold Spring Harbor. At her daughter’s new elementary school, she volunteered to introduce a new curriculum centered on a...

Schools combine meditation and brain science to help combat discipline problems (chalkbeat.org)

When students and teachers learn together about how their brains influence behavior, one expert says, discipline can become less of a confrontation and more of a partnership. The field of educational neuroscience is at the intersection of cognitive psychology, education and neuroscience, and some of its teachings suggest findings from brain research can be applied to classroom management and discipline techniques. Some trend toward the area of “mindfulness,” such as attempting to sharpen...

Youth Voice students introduce SDSU college seniors to ACEs

Youth Voice leaders (left to right) Katherine, Lizette, Jessica, Adrian, Tatiana, Sienna and Angel Seven youth leaders traveled to San Diego State University last week to explain the science of adverse childhood experiences and the impact of complex trauma, as well as their journey of resilience and transformation to thirty seniors in the university's Counseling and Psychology Department. Youth Voice has created a sanctuary for youth, ages 11 to 20, to share, learn and create messages of...

Trauma Informed Schools—An Essential for Student & Staff Success, Part 3: The Holistic Approach

In the first two parts of this series ( part one , part two ), we talk about the implications of trauma and student behavior and how to create a trauma informed school. The success of creating a trauma informed school weighs heavily on the school and community embracing the holistic approach. At Los Angeles Education Partnership, we achieve this through our Community School model. As former teachers, we are aware that the more we pile on our teachers, the less effective the approach becomes.

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