On December 15th we held a community professional development opportunity in collaboration with Centerstone, the Van Wezel Teaching Artists, Soul to Soul Yoga and The Ringing. Teachers, paraprofessionals and community advocates learned how traumatic events can affect children. This training exposed us to the risk factors and warning signs of problems and how to get help for a child or family in crisis. Using the book “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds, the Van Wezel artists engaged us to use art as a method of connecting with a student’s emotional vocabulary. Our yoga practice was designed to encourage deep breathing and to explore the mind and body connection as it relates to self-calming. Our event ended with a tour of The Ringling. Museums have an incredible ability to promote early learning. The Ringling is an integral part of our community plan to ensure early learning experiences are available to all our students and staff. Our teachers will now be able to support their student’s and their families when they engage in a family or class field trip to The Ringling.
The goal of the day was to improve a child or families’ ability to cope and recover after experiencing a traumatic event. We now have an understanding of what trauma is, how to identify it and refer to appropriate levels of care.
We have to do everything we can to give all of our children opportunities to get off to a strong start, and our community professional development opportunities can help our staff support their student’s to make discoveries, deepen interests, and connect their natural curiosity to the wider world – developing the skills they need for a lifetime of learning.