“Paper Tigers is a moving and profoundly important film that offers critical insights into one of the most widespread educational and health challenges in American society. It should be mandatory viewing for teachers and principals across the country, and anyone who works with vulnerable youth” said David Bornstein, New York Times author and Co-Founder of The Solutions Journalism Network. The film follows a year in the life of Lincoln High Alternative School in Walla Walla, Washington. After radically changing its approach to disciplining its students, Lincoln High School saw a dramatic turnaround in everything from the number of fights to test scores to graduation rates. The school has become a promising model of how to break the cycles of poverty, violence and disease that affect families through the practice of ongoing trauma-informed educational strategies. Told with intimate verite and diary cam footage, Paper Tigers is a testament to what the latest research on childhood adversity is proving: that one caring adult can change the trajectory of a young person’s life.
Young & Healthy is very proud of our Executive Director, Mary Donnelly-Crocker, who presented a TED talk on October 29 at the TEDx Pasadena Women event held at The Huntington. The event theme was “It’s About Time!” Hear Mary’s message and watch her presentation by clinking on the link, below:
Jasmine is a bright young girl who began fourth grade at a new school this year. Jasmine adjusted well to her new school, friends and teacher during the first several weeks. However, as the holidays approached, her teacher began to notice a change in Jasmine’s behavior. Jasmine, an otherwise well-tempered girl, was suddenly crying a lot and sometimes uncooperative in class. Strangely, she even exhibited moments of aggression and depression that nobody could understand.
Luckily, Jasmine’s teacher had attended a Young & Healthy sponsored training on Trauma Informed Care. The teacher came to suspect that, for some reason, the holidays were an emotional trigger. As it turns out, Jasmine lost her mother to cancer and was being raised by a distant relative. It became very clear that Jasmine’s behavior was due to the emotional stress brought on by her family trauma. The holidays were exacerbating the situation.
Trauma Informed Care has made a significant impression on Young & Healthy. We have already started to educate and provide the necessary tools to teachers in the community who are in a position to make a difference in supporting these traumatized kids, while building their resilience. We have seen first-hand how many children in our community suffer from trauma such as divorce, death, alcohol or drug abuse, neglect, violence in the home, etc. Young & Healthy is committed to being a Trauma Informed Care agency and will add additional services which embrace the sensitivity needed to bring overall wellness to our families.
Young & Healthy continues to provide needed medical, dental and mental health services via our professional volunteers. But, we will also bring sensitivity training, insight and skill building techniques to educators so that together we can create a path of calm and resilience. Our work of empathy and sensitivity will come in the form of:
• A pair of eyeglasses so that a child is able to do his homework and focus in the classroom
• Trauma Informed Care training for the teachers at our schools
• Surgery for a child who needs tubes in her ears to stop reoccurring ear infections
• A referral to a dentist to fill painful cavities
We have the opportunity to be brokers of hope for those who need help. It is our hope that you will join us in embracing our new endeavor to care for the whole child and in continuing to serve the underserved such that we may strengthen our community overall.
Thank you to Lila Guirguis for her comments and enthusiasm regarding Young & Healthy’s first Trauma Informed Care training held on October 10 at Huntington Hospital. Lila wrote:
Yesterday many of the partners of Collaborate PASadena were fortunate to attend Part 1 of 4 trainings on Trauma Informed Care hosted by Young and Healthy at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena and facilitated by Matt Bennett from the Coldspring Center for Social & Health Innovation.
It was a fantastic training, but even better was the diversity of the leadership in the room, from Pasadena Unified School District staff, City of Pasadena, the Pasadena Library, many local nonprofit agencies and nurses and doctors of Huntington Hospital, at least 100 people attended!
So much of what was discussed was about our own personal narrative, what shapes and molds us into the individuals we are today especially looking at the brain science behind our behaviors, our choices and social and emotional health. We were led through conversations that helped us, in our small table discussions, and as a larger group, think about the clients, patients, young children and students and community we work with and reflect “what ways we have seen trauma negatively impact people’s lives and ability to thrive”.
One thing Mary Donnelly-Crocker, Executive Director of Young and Healthy, ended with was let’s make Pasadena a Trauma Informed City! It was a call to action, to policy and especially awareness of this important research. As the new Staff Lead of the Office of the Young Child for the City of Pasadena, I left inspired to support the dissemination of this information to many I have worked with and will be working with.
I leave you with this short video on Empathy vs. Sympathy Published on Dec 10, 2013….In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us what is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? We can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.