Children and Trauma: Understanding Impact & Strengthening Resilience

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Children and Trauma:
Understanding Impact & Strengthening Resilience Training Series    

March - May 2012 


The Campaign to End Child Homelessness presents a series of webinars on trauma and trauma-informed care. Join trainer Kathleen Guarino this spring for a four-part training on homelessness, trauma, trauma-informed care, and self-care for service providers. Each month from February - May, the Campaign will be offering opportunities to learn more about how trauma can impact all facets of a person's life. Special focus will be given to children and families who are experiencing homelessness and how organizations can provide trauma-informed services to these populations.


Now Available - Homelessness in America: The Big Picture

This self-paced, online course provides an historical perspective of homelessness in the United States, a discussion of current trends in how we respond, and a view of the future as we work as a nation not just to manage homelessness, but to end it. 
This free course is available now - use code "ncfhFree".


March 14, 2012 - Understanding The Impact of Trauma on Children; 2-3:30 PM ET

Becoming homeless is traumatic for children and is often compounded by other traumatic stressors. Traumatic experiences can have a significant impact on all aspects of a child's emotional and physical health and development. By understanding traumatic stress, shelter providers and others who work with homeless children can build safe environments for children to heal. This webinar will provide an overview of trauma in the lives of children experiencing homelessness; define traumatic stress and discuss its impact on children; explore mitigating factors in a child's response to traumatic events; and begin to identify ways to help children and families heal. Register today


April - Developing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Support Children and Their Families

Date and Time TBD


May - Building a Culture of Self-Care to Support Service Providers 

Date and Time TBD


Homelessness and Trauma

Homelessness and trauma are inextricably linked. Many people who experience homelessness have also suffered from physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, injury, and other traumatic events. Trauma can impact all facets of a person's life and can result in challenges that include mental health and substance issues, struggles maintaining housing and employment, and difficulties in relationships. Trauma-informed services take into account how trauma impacts people on a daily basis.


About the Trainer

Kathleen Guarino, LMHC, is the Director of Training at The National Center on Family Homelessness. She provides trainings on traumatic stress throughout the country and is an expert on the effects of violence and trauma in the lives of children and families.   

About the Campaign to End Child Homelessness 
The Campaign to End Child Homelessness seeks to galvanize the public and political will necessary to end this crisis. Because it is unacceptable for any child to be homeless for even one night, the Campaign to End Child Homelessness is a call to action with the goals of increasing public awareness, informing state and local policies, and improving programs and services to better address the needs of homeless children and families. The Campaign to End Child Homelessness is an initiative of The National Center on Family Homelessness.  



Corey Anne Beach,

Children Playing War

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If you are planning a peace event in the coming weeks, you may want to consider using this book as part of a children's activity.

While on a peace delegation in Afghanistan, we heard the stories of many children, whose lives had been shattered by war.

One boy had nearly lost both arms and legs to a cluster bomb. A young girl had lost her mother, her sisters, her brothers, her cousins, her aunt and uncle, all to one bunker buster that went astray. We've told their stories dozens of times now in the hopes of helping people to understand the true consequences of war.

A few weeks after returning to the United States from that trip, I had an appointment in downtown Palo Alto. I took the free shuttle which also carried middle-school children from their homes to school.

One pair of boys was talking about war, making exploding noises and whooshing sounds like airplanes. To them, the idea of war was really cool, like the video games kids play. I could only think of those two little kids in Afghanistan, and the reality of war.

One of my prayers was to find a way to teach children about war, in a gentle but compelling way. Today, we have a book which helps do just that. It is called Playing War and it is available in our web store.

We recently used that book during an interfaith worship service, remembering the start of the Iraq war. Three Stanford students read the book to the children (and adults) attending the service. Each of the young women played roles from within the story. It was an incredibly moving time.

The rest of this story is written by the wonderful teaching team at Tilbury House (the publisher of Playing War) and provides suggested activities and additional resources to use along with the book, Playing War.

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Universal Declaration of Rights for Children

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We, the Children of the World, assert our inalienable right to be heard and to have a political voice at the United Nations and at the highest levels of governments worldwide.

We, the Children of the World, must live with justice, with peace and freedom, but above all, with the dignity we deserve.

We, the Children of the World, require a Marshall Plan, a Geneva Convention, and a World Children’s Court of Human Rights which meets regularly to listen to the testimonies as to what is actually happening to us.  We intend to provide our own testimonies.

We, the Children of the World, demand the right to be taken to safe shelters in situations of war.

We, the Children of the World, consider hunger, disease, forced labour, and all forms of abuse and exploitation perpetrated upon us to be war.

We, the Children of the World, have had no political voice. We demand such a voice.

We, the Children of the World, will develop our own leadership, and set an example that will show governments how to live in peace and freedom.

We, the Children of the World, serve notice on our abusers and exploiters, whoever they may be, that from this day hence, we will begin the process of holding you responsible for our suffering.

– Betty Williams 1997

Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan-Maguire co-founded Community of Peace People, an organization that promoted peace in Ireland and now works for peace around the world. The two women received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.

Institute for Humane Education Recommends 10 Great Resources for Social Justice Teaching

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We're pleased to be recipients of the Institute for Humane Education's newsletter and this week received this incredible list of resources we thought we should also share with you! Here's what they recommend:


by Marsha Rakestraw, Online Communities & Special Projects Manager

Teacher and studentsWith global challenges growing and violence, injustice, cruelty and destruction flourishing, you know that it's even more essential to address issues of social justice (human rights, environmental preservation, animal protection, media, culture & consumerism) with your students -- to help them think critically and creatively about the world and their place in it. But with all the tests and standards and demands on your time, how do you do it? You're not alone in your passion to integrate justice and equity into education; there are numerous useful resources available, and we've compiled (in no particular order) 10 terrific ones for you to explore.

  1. Institute for Humane Education – Of course we have to recommend ourselves. Thousands of teachers and community educators have accessed our humane education activities, suggested books for adults and children, our Humane Connection blog and other resources for building a just, compassionate, sustainable world for all people, animals and the earth.
  2. EdChange – A goldmine of social justice resources, EdChange and its sister sites offer more useful essays, activities, tools, links and other goodies than you can shake a number 2 pencil at. (Be sure to check out our interview with EdChange gurus Paul Gorski & Jennifer Hickman.)
  3. Americans Who Tell the Truth – Focused on changemakers in the U.S., these paintings by Robert Shetterly capture the words and wisdom of people not afraid to speak the truth and work for a better world.  In addition to the portraits and short bios of those featured, the website includes suggested curriculum and a blog to help educators spark ideas for helping students understand their heritage and inspire their futures.
  4. Education for Liberation Network –  Our favorite part of ELN’s website is their EdLib Lab, an interactive database of teaching materials, curriculum and resources compiled from other organizations. It’s searchable by categories such as grade level, topic, keyword, and material type, and something new is added frequently. You can also submit your own.
  5. Rethinking Schools – RS has a whole slew of publications that should be added to your “must read” list. Focused on educational reform and issues of equity and social justice, RS offers insightful, innovative, and useful essays, teaching ideas, analysis and more through its quarterly magazine and numerous books.
  6. Teaching Tolerance – A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, TT is a bastion of educational materials and ideas useful in integrating the social justice lens into your classroom. Between the quarterly magazine, classroom activities, blog, and other resources, there is plenty to delight and inspire.
  7. Radical Math – Want to integrate social justice into your math classes?  On the RM website you’ll find hundreds of lesson plans, articles, charts, books, websites and other resources that you can find by subject, math topic or resource type.
  8. Black Ants & Buddhists – One of my favorite education books ever, and required reading for our students, Black Ants & Buddhists: Teaching Critically and Thinking Differently in the Primary Grades by Mary Cowhey, outlines her experiences integrating social justice, activism, community participation and critical thinking into her first and second grade classes in order to nurture “more informed, articulate, active and participatory citizens who know the power of their own voices.” A great and inspiring resource whether you teach young ones or not.
  9. Planning to Change the World – A collaboration between Education for Liberation and the New York Collective of Radical Educators, this planning book for teachers offers ideas, essays, lesson plans, quotes and tips for helping teachers “translate their vision of a just education into concrete classroom activities.”
  10. “Social Justice and Language Arts” (pdf) – A great article by Christopher Greenslate, one of IHE’s M.Ed. graduates, and a language arts/social justice teacher. Yes, it’s only a single resource, but it serves as a wonderful template of specific ideas and examples for integrating issues of animal protection, human rights, environmental protection and cultural issues into language arts teaching.


Free Education Kit - The Children's March

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Learn how some brave children in Alabama brought an end to the era of segregation! The Southern Poverty Law Center's offers free video and teacher's kit for middle and upper grades.
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What Franklin Roosevelt Learned from a Passamaquoddy Named Tomah Joseph (and how much you can teach about using this book)

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Remember MeReach And Teach is really excited to offer a brand new book called Remember Me - Tomah Joseph's Gift to Franklin Roosevelt. In the next few pages, we'll introduce the book and the many ways it can be weaved into a wonderful variety of teachable moments.

"This lovely book captures, in both words and images, the growing friendship between the young boy who would become the 32nd president of the United States and Tomah Joseph, a Passamaquoddy elder and canoe guide. Although this story focuses on his skills as a guide and educator, Tomah Joseph was also a gifted artist, a fine dancer and storyteller, and a tribal governor. His beautifully etched drawings record Passamaquoddy oral history, life in "the old time," and also include references to his contemporary world. Written by a Passamaquoddy, this story is a wonderful addition to the growing volume of children's literature that respectfully and accurately presents Native people to a wider audience." -Joan Lester, author of History on Birchbark: The Art of Tomah Joseph, Passamaquoddy 

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Summer of Social Justice

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Reach And Teach is pleased to help promote Teaching Tolerance's Summer of Social Justice ideas for professional development this Summer. After their full article (used with permission from Teaching Tolerance) we'd also like to offer some Reach And Teach resources you might want to consider.
read more Tips for Black History Month

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Freedom SongFebruary is Black History Month and our friends at have put together a wonderful set of resources for teachers, parents, youth group leaders and other community folks.

We also have some great products you might want to check out for Black History Month, especially our newest title, Freedom Song. Explore the civil rights movement in the United States and the anti-Apartheid movement of South Africa through words, pictures, and incredible music (performed by the Chicago Children's Choir).

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A Hungry World and Global Education Spotlight

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If you are a teacher looking for already tested and completely ready-to-use lesson plans and materials on issues like hunger, children and the media, children and war, global issues, economics, HIV/AIDS, and more, World Vision of Canada has a fantastic set of resources for you.
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The Carpet Boy's Gift (Teaching About Child Labor)

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Learn about The Carpet Boy's Gift and take advantage of the lesson plans and other resources put together by the folks at Tilbury House and Reach And Teach.

"I appeal to you that you stop people from using children as bonded laborers because the children need to use a pen rather than the instruments of child labor." -Iqbal Masih, 12 years old, from his Reebok Youth in Action Award Acceptance Speech, December 7, 1994

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Green America approved