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Phoenix Children’s Hospital: Creating a Culture of Bike Safety for Latino and All Kids


Injury prevention specialist, Juan Tarango created a six-week, hands-on bike safety course for fourth grade students in Phoenix, AZ.

Juan Tarango of Tempe, Arizona, has been an avid cyclist for over 30 years. For him, it’s about exploring, exploring his city, state, country and even other countries. He loves to see kids ride bicycles, having fun and getting physical activity. But he hated seeing how many kids show up with bike-related injuries at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital ER where he worked. “One kid─wasn’t going fast, wasn’t doing tricks─falls, hits his head, and ends up with life-changing brain injury,” Tarango said. Tarango wanted to help. He wondered: What could he do to teach Latino and all kids bicycle safety behaviors, and thus reduce  bike-related injuries? Children, Bicycling, and Injuries Bicycling is good for your health. For kids, it can help develop muscle ...

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San Antonio Health Director Gets First City-Funded ACEs Coordinator


Dr-Bridger-sharing-brainstorming-ideas-at-Bexar-County-Trauma-Informed-Care-Consortium-meeting-on-June-29-2018-number2

Dr. Colleen Bridger knows the devastating effects of childhood trauma, from risky behavior to bad grades, to even chronic disease. Bridger saw many childhoods ruined by abuse, poverty, and other trauma in her 20 years running three health departments and a childhood research/advocacy group in North and South Carolina. Health departments rarely coordinate with schools, healthcare providers, police, the justice system, and family support groups to address and reduce the impact of childhood trauma. Bridger wanted to change that. Since taking over as head of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department in 2017, she has worked to create a network of coordinated trauma-informed care for children and families facing adversity, even creating city’s first-ever job dedicated solely ...

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Latina Environmentalist Dedicates Life to Saving the Planet for her Familia


Seguinot-Medina PBDE ACAT

At the end of her life, Samarys Seguinot-Medina hopes to say she made the world a safer place to live for the children in her family. Seguinot-Medina has known two personal truths since she was young: Nature, as well as humanity, are worth fighting for; and there are countless issues to battle — causing her to devote her time, career to promoting environmental justice and chemical safety. That is why, for almost 10 years, Seguinot-Medina and her colleagues at Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) worked to ban hazardous flame-retardant chemicals, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in Alaska (8.9% Latino). Those efforts eventually resulted in passing Assembly Ordinance 2019-15(S), or the Toxic Free Children Ordinance, an Anchorage-wide ban of products containing those ...

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Jorge Olvera Fights Food Swamps with Community Gardens


community garden and Jorge Olvera

Magnolia Park is one of the oldest Latino neighborhoods in Houston's East End. Unfortunately, its 17,800 residents live in a food swamp. Fast food access is abundant. Healthy food access is scarce, as are safe spaces to be physically active. Jorge Olvera wanted to boost healthy food and physical activity at the same time. His big idea? Community gardening. "A great strategy for addressing [food swamps and hunger] is to provide community members a safe space to grow their own food," Olvera said. The Great Need for Healthy Food in Magnolia Park Olvera works for El Centro De Corazon, a federally qualified health center. He witnessed the health center serving a growing amount of Magnolia Park and East End patients who had debilitating chronic and obesity-related ...

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4 Heroes Who Are Revolutionizing Trauma-Informed Care in Schools


4 heroes of trauma informed care and ACEs

Childhood trauma. Adverse childhood experiences. Mental health issues. Whatever you call it, trauma impacts a child’s brain and body. It undermines a child’s ability to learn, build relationships, and contribute in the classroom. Schools can play a big role in supporting students who deal with trauma out of school. That's why we at Salud America! are spotlighting four Salud Heroes who are creating school environments to address childhood trauma among students! 1. Ex-Coach Helps School District Change its System to Create a Culture of Care for Students of Trauma John Hernandez coached football in three disadvantaged school districts in Texas. When a player missed practice, Hernandez took it on himself to visit their home. He would check in on them and offer rides, so the ...

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Game Changer: San Antonio Police to Notify Schools if Kids Exposed to Trauma



Diana Centeno knows kids exposed to traumatic events don’t get the support they need at school. Doug Greene knows police come across kids at crime scenes but feel unable to help them cope. So, they teamed up to start a project where patrol officers send a notification to the district if a child was present at a traumatic incident, enabling monitoring and support for the child. Centeno, a student support leader at San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), is passionate about providing wrap-around, social-emotional services, particularly for children facing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Kids exposed to ACEs often act out in class, miss school, and fall behind, increasing their risk of dropping out, getting into criminal activities, and suffering from poor ...

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How a Children’s Museum Morphed into a Latino Community Hub



Steve Long knows the mission of the Children's Museum of the East End is to spark imagination, play, and learning for all children in Bridgehampton, N.Y. (21% Latino). But the museum has risen to a new level under Long's leadership as executive director. It has become a Latino community hub. Long and the museum leaders host an afterschool science program for Spanish-speaking students. They partnered to host "safe space" workshops for Latino immigrants. They helped start an eight-week music program to enhance Spanish-speakers' literacy skills. They even added a mini-golf course with science-based facts in English and Spanish. "[The museum] is having a lifelong impact on the development of Latino children and their families through these programs," Long said. The ...

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Superintendent’s State Crusade to Help Schools Help Students of Trauma



Bob Stewart knew that some students were frequently missing class or dropping out of the Gladstone School District in Gladstone, Ore (14.6% Latino). But he didn’t know why. Stewart came to realize his students face trauma─neglect, mental illness, poverty, foster care, divorced or jailed parents, and other adverse childhood experiences─that affect their school attendance and long-term social, emotional, mental, and physical health. He wanted to help. He started mental health services in his district. Stewart wanted to go bigger. Could he achieve his goal of starting a statewide learning collaborative to educate other school districts how to support students who have adverse childhood experiences? Absenteeism: A Symptom of a Larger Problem Stewart, who started as ...

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Raheem Baraka’s Support Group for Latino Grandparents Raising Grandkids


Raheem Baraka

Family separations. Broken families. Little social support. In these tough times, abuela and abuelo often have to step up a caregivers for young children. That is why Raheem Baraka's Baraka Community Wellness partnered with nonprofit Tree of Life to create a unique support group for Spanish-speaking grandparents who are doubling as caregivers in Boston (19% Latino). "There are many grandparents who are raising their grandchildren," Baraka told Salud America! in July 2018. "There are broken families. There are challenges around our people staying together in highly traumatic and stressful situations." The Need for Grandparents as Caregivers In 2016, a record 64 million people, or 20% of the U.S. population, lived with multiple generations under one roof, according to a recent ...

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