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Philadelphia Group Blogs

Youth-Led Advocacy Creates Healing Opportunities in Baltimore City

After a shooting at a historic Baltimore high school in February 2019—a 25-year-old man, angry about the school’s treatment of his sister, who was a student there, shot a special education assistant with a Smith and Wesson handgun—conversation in the city centered on whether school resource officers should be armed. Students said that was the wrong question. When City Council’s education and youth committee, chaired by council member Zeke Cohen, held hearings on school violence following the...

"Who's in Your Canoe?": Ho‘oikaika Partnership Draws on Hawaiian Values to Promote Protective Factors

Title image: Jeny Bissell, Ho‘oikaika Partnership founder and Core Partner, gives a shaka at a Child Abuse Prevention Month mayor's proclamation and concert. A brochure from the Ho‘oikaika Partnership shows four people paddling a slender boat, their bodies silhouetted against an apricot-hued sky. The tagline: “When it comes to parenting, who’s in your canoe?” The image and the metaphor are intentional, says Karen Worthington, coordinator of the 60-member, cross-sector Ho‘oikaika Partnership...

Data-Driven, Cross-Sector: Bounce Coalition Boosts Trauma-Informed Change in Kentucky

Student suspension rates dropped. Teacher retention rose. Membership in the PTA swelled from zero to more than 200. More kids said in a survey that there was at least one adult at school whom they could talk to if they had a problem. The data—a comparison of the Bounce Coalition’s pilot school and one with similar demographics—told the Kentucky resilience-boosting group that they were on the right track. The Bounce Coalition formed in 2014; the catalyst was a grant from the Foundation for a...

In-person classes have stopped. Shootings haven’t. So Philly schools are taking trauma support online [billypenn.com]

When students came to class in person, the private St. Malachy School in North Philadelphia was equipped with a robust emotional support program to help kids deal with trauma. The 11th and Thompson building offered its 275 students access to a space called the Peace Room. It was stocked with bean bag chairs, books, music, snacks — even an elliptical, in case they needed to get some energy out. There were two full-time staffers working the room at all times, one of whom is a counselor. When...

LAUNCH Together Supports Social Emotional Well-Being in Southwest Denver

As the COVID-19 pandemic blurred from days into months, the leadership team of LAUNCH Together Southwest Denver began hearing about the sense of anguish and confusion felt by directors of early-childhood learning centers: Should I re-open? Is that financially feasible? Is it ethical? And how do I decide, in a sea of fast-changing information about a virus scientists are still struggling to understand? LAUNCH Together SW Denver, a collaborative formed in 2016 to boost community capacity to...

Pathway for Trauma is Pathway for Resilience: Fresno Network's Message Inspires Hope

In Fresno, volunteers from local churches were already working with the schools, mentoring kids and running weekend recreation programs. Community-based non-profits were in conversation with educators; pastors were talking to social-service providers. The problems were clear: nearly 30% of Fresno’s residents living in poverty (the rate tops 40% for Black residents), with a 20-year gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest parts of this sharply segregated city. For several years,...

"It's All Connected": NJEA ACEs Task Force Reaches Beyond Educators

The March meeting of the New Jersey Education Association’s ACEs Task Force opened without an agenda. It was a virtual gathering with more than 50 people—educators, social workers, professionals in pediatrics, juvenile justice and child abuse prevention. The pandemic had landed emphatically close to home, with a governor’s order to close all schools on March 18, and participants were grappling with what that meant for their students, their families and themselves. So ACEs Task Force co-chair...

Greater Richmond Trauma Informed Community Network, first to join ACEs Cooperative of Communities, shows what it means to ROCK!

In 2012, Greater Richmond SCAN and five other community partners hatched a one-year plan to educate the Richmond, Virginia, community about ACEs science and to embed trauma-informed practices. Eight years later, the original group has evolved into the Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community Network (GRTICN) with 495 people and 170 organizations. And they're just scratching the surface.

Wolf Administration Releases ‘Trauma-Informed PA’ Plan with Recommendations and Steps for the Commonwealth and Providers to Become Trauma-Informed [PA Governor Tom Wolf Press Release]

July 27, 2020 As a companion to Governor Tom Wolf’s multi-agency effort and anti-stigma initiative, Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters, the Office of Advocacy and Reform (OAR) is releasing the “Trauma-Informed PA” plan to guide the commonwealth and service providers statewide on what it means to be trauma-informed and healing-centered in PA. This plan is the result of four months of work from OAR and the Trauma-Informed PA Think Tank, formed in February. The think tank was made up of...

Workplace Stress? Real-world workplace action steps for wellness in this Virtual Cafe [healthfederation.org]

Ayana Bradshaw, MPH is the Administrative Director for the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) and the Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) at The Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. In this capacity she oversees all financial, administrative, operational, managerial, human resources and strategic planning components of the Center. Ms. Bradshaw has over 20 years of experience in multiple facets of public health, including but not limited to developing community health...

A lot of people seem to have a hard time understanding how psychological trauma affects us. So here's a thought experiment that might help - replace "trauma," or any more specific terms (e.g. "abuse," "assault," etc) with "spiders." Or if you like spiders, pick a different animal that creeps you out. But for this thread, I'm going to stick with spiders. So what does this mean? To start with, if someone has been bitten by a spider in the past, they're probably going to be more paranoid about...

No more ‘police’ in Philly schools; ‘safety officers’ in new uniforms coming this fall [inquirer.com]

School police will no longer patrol city public school halls come September. Instead, “school safety officers” in less severe uniforms and with different job descriptions will be stationed throughout the Philadelphia School District. The move comes amid local and national pushes to remove police from schools. A handful of big-city districts, including those in Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, and Oakland, have severed or backed away from relationships with police departments in the wake of the...

Philly school board hearing report: speakers seek fewer police, more support services [thenotebook.org]

Teachers, counselors, parents, and national activists added their voices to students’ call for “police-free schools” at a general public hearing held by Philadelphia’s Board of Education on Thursday. The board holds two of these hearings annually, as the City Charter mandates; the only agenda for the meetings is to hear speakers. At the hearing and at a virtual “rally” held during the hour before, members of the Philadelphia Student Union and their allies repeatedly said that reform of the...

General board hearing Thursday likely to focus on school officers and reopening plans [thenotebook.org]

The Philadelphia Board of Education is holding an open public hearing Thursday afternoon, one of two that it is required by the City Charter to conduct annually on general topics. The three-hour meeting, which starts at 4 p.m., has no agenda except hearing from speakers. Student activists plan to renew their calls for police-free schools. Many others have registered to air their concerns about the conditions under which schools will resume in the fall, said Board President Joyce Wilkerson.

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