Our goal was to share our new learning of childhood trauma and how the toxic stress damages children’s brains. Through various conversations with colleagues it became obvious that it was quickly becoming a focus in our school district. During the March 16, 2018 Augusta School Department In-Service Day one of the sessions was called “Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & Toxic Stress. The presentation was developed by the Maine Resilience building Network and presented by Sue Mackey Andrews. The majority of the teachers at Gilbert School attended this session and instantly saw the connection between childhood trauma and education. This was the perfect kickoff for our afterschool book study – Fostering Resilient Learners. We used the $500.00 grant money to purchase the books.
When planning our book study we divided it up according to the five key parts of the book. We are in the middle of our book study which is leading to the staff deepening their knowledge on childhood trauma and coming up with effective interventions to support our students. Staff members that complete the book study will receive contact hours. We have framed the book study so that if someone can’t attend due to a conflict in their schedule there is an option to do it as an independent book study with assignments and reflections. It should be noted that other educators in the district have heard that we are doing this book study at Gilbert School and want to do it in their building next school year. The $100.00 Staples gift card was a nice bonus. We having been using the gift card to buy additional supplies for the book study. Thank you for making this book study a reality through this generous grant.