In her six years as the social worker at El Dorado Elementary in San Francisco, Jennifer Caldwell has witnessed significant change. “It’s a lot calmer,” she says. “The kids have strategies to manage and regulate their emotions. They’re better at talking it out and solving problems. The teachers have more tools to manage the behaviors and make classrooms more supportive.”
The change has been the result of training that the school received from a program called HEARTS (Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools) a prevention and intervention program run by the University of California at San Francisco’s Department of Psychiatry. For five years, the program also provided a post-doctoral student on-site at El Dorado, who consulted with teachers and offered direct therapeutic services to the school’s highest-needs children and families. For those (and all) students, the school now has a “peace corner” in every classroom.
For more, please go to Turning Around Trauma.