BACKGROUND & OPPORTUNITY STATEMENTS
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) include various forms of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction.
Brains are built through experience.
Physical health & mental health and well-being are intertwined.
Positive relationships are central to mental health and well-being.
Where we live, learn, work, and play impacts our mental health and well-being.
Fear, trauma, and chronic stress negatively impacts mental health and well-being.
Everyone needs opportunity to learn and practice skills to manage life and engage in the world.
Building Compassionate Schools to Help Children Thrive
In 2017, teams of building administrators, teachers, counselors, social workers, and behaviorists from sixteen participating schools as well as two after school organizations began a six month pilot series to improve their trauma sensitive practices. The teams met every two months for a training session. On the off months the teams met to complete a school self assessment and to develop an action plan with measurable outcomes for the following school year.
ReThink collaborated with education and school counseling instructors from North Dakota State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Concordia College, and Valley City State University to provide facilitation to the school workgroups.
“Building Compassionate schools training provides our staff an understanding of the traumatic experiences of our students and how those experiences can impact their school day. It provides our staff with the tools to support the students socially, emotionally and academically.”Brad Franklin
The value of a multi-district training series has been invaluable, beyond the important content that is being taught. The ability to interact and learn from other districts has been invaluable. It would not have happened without ReThink.Dr. Grosz
Example from the FieldEagles Elementary, Fargo ND
As a result of attending the Building Compassionate Schools (BCS), Eagles Elementary in Fargo, ND took steps towards changing their school culture by actively engaging the rest of their staff. One of the key takeaways from training #3 on social and emotional learning was that for building-level change to occur, staff needed to understand the “why” for the change. Throughout the training series, Eagles staff had been intentional about bringing back what they had learned from each session via newsletters, staff meetings, etc. What they did after session #3 was especially impressive. Their BCS team members collectively interviewed every staff person (e.g. teacher, custodian, lunch staff) and compiled detailed data about who their students were and what their life experiences were. From that they created a professionally made video of their story. They felt it was very important that all staff new and understood their “story” in order to be an active participant in building a more compassionate school.
“The People Project” is bringing simple tools to individuals and organizations so communities can flourish by promoting health through happiness