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News and Opinion May 22, 2016

Turnaround featured in Wisconsin Watch

Focus on Traumatic Childhood Helps Victims Heal and Succeed, by Dee J. Halls looks at the value of trauma-informed approaches to helping children and adults succeed in life. Trauma-informed care “acknowledges and responds to the role of trauma in the development of emotional, behavioral, educational and physical difficulties.” By acknowledging a traumatic event, individuals are sometimes able to heal and eventually move on.

Michael LambHall’s piece includes a conversation with Turnaround’s Executive Director, Washington, D.C., Michael Lamb, where he recalls his own experience as a teacher on Chicago’s South Side. Here is an excerpt:

“Students who’ve been through a lot of trauma … their bodies are flooded with cortisol, and the impact is both on the learning part of their brain as well as the immune system,” Lamb explained, referring to the hormone released in response to stress. “So every day it feels like the bear … is right in front of them because of what’s in their brains.”

Lamb brought his mother into the classroom to calm his students and to humanize him as a teacher. He discovered one antidote to his students’ violent reactions: Adults they could trust.”

Read Hall’s full piece in Wisconsin Watch here.