Hello ACES in Education Community!
I have a rare opportunity to speak to our Congressman's Educational Council in their upcoming meeting on March 29 Here's the thing: I'm not a teacher or parent! And I know that Virginia as a whole may be somewhat behind other States.
But I'm not letting these things deter me. I'm passionate about ACEs and trauma-informed approaches! And as a concerned citizen, I know that spreading awareness to the schools can help shift the school/youth violence tide. We are at a cross road for sure!
As our first line of defense, our schools have a huge role to play! I probably only have about 5 minutes to make an argument for ACEs and trauma informed awareness. So my approach includes first a show of hands of those who have this knowledge; they will be my allies. Then I will focus on how preventing and mitigating ACEs with trauma-informed approaches is truly the root of prevention.
Somewhere in the beginning I can lightheartedly mention that I'm not there to talk about guns, though I can certainly speak to guns having spent my entire career with ATF. And though guns are part of the conversation, the most important part of the conversation is about root cause.
Even long before ACEs, ATF focused on impacting youth violence through its successful Gang Resistance Education and Awareness Training (GREAT) program. And as the Wellness Manager for ATF's law enforcement officers, I introduced ACEs into the stress, trauma, suicide, and resiliency awareness training. It clicked! My experience revealed that our unsung heroes often choose life-saving careers to protect and prevent others from enduring in their early lives what they did.
I just hope I can inspire interest and maybe even action! I've read through the blog postings because I don't want to be redundant. You have offered some great resources and toolkits for helping schools implement trauma informed approaches. All noted, thank you!
If all goes well, I will offer up my assistance to guide the council members to the right resources. Also, I'm putting together folders with some of the great content I've found on this site (thank you for your generosity!).
I welcome your suggestions and comments and thank you in advance for your time and your dedication!!