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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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Minerva Perez Busts Fear, Builds Mental Health Support for Latino Immigrants



Fear. Of being deported. Losing homes. Losing children. Minvera Perez knows Latino immigrants live in constant fear in East Hampton, N.Y. (17.1% Latino), which stresses these parents and kids—not to mention harming their physical and mental health. Perez wanted to help. How could she overcome Latino families' grim fears and stresses, and ease their mental health burden? Levels of Fear Perez is executive director of Organizacion Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island (OLA). OLA promotes cultural, social, economic, and educational development within Long Island’s East End Latino communities, specifically Suffolk County, N.Y. (19.5% Latino). Perez and OLA are speaking up for social justice for Latino immigrants. "Right now, Latino members in our community need ...

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Raheem Baraka Makes Latino Family Health a Civil Rights Issue in Boston



Raheem J. Baraka grew up seeing health inequity all around him in Boston (19% Latino). He saw people in one low-income neighborhood suffer more disease, less access to health care, and live 33 years less than people in a wealthy area just 2.7 miles away. He saw doctors treating illnesses, not addressing prevention or social determinants of health. He was fed up. So Baraka started Baraka Community Wellness. The nonprofit group makes health a civil rights issue by creating programs to address health equity and the social determinants of health, such as the unique "Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids" program to connect single moms to access to healthy eating, physical activity, and social support from financial aid to housing advocacy. "I truly have a disdain for disparity and ...

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Doctor’s Mental Health & Resiliency Training for Immigrant Kids─in School!



Dr. Heyman Oo treated a lot of traumatized child immigrants while a pediatric resident at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and now as pediatrician at a California clinic system. Oo knows these kids often face extreme poverty before immigration. After, they face parental separation, detention, and discrimination. No wonder they also suffer stress, depression, and other mental health issues, and are at risk for dropping out of school and absenteeism, according to a Salud America! research review. Oo wanted to help. She joined a task force designed to support children amid a growing number of unaccompanied minors being apprehended at the California border, which led to a big change. Unaccompanied Minors In 2014, more than 68,000 unaccompanied immigrant minors were ...

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