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Athens, GA: District gets $700,000 to learn about the effects of trauma from home

Dec 27, 2017, Athens (GA) Banner Herald: Grants aims to stem toll of trauma in Athens schoolchildren http://onlineathens.com/local-news/2017-12-27/grants-aims-stem-toll-trauma-athens-schoolchildren … The project aims to boost the reading achievement of more than 100 children who have experienced trauma by “disrupting traditional approaches to literacy instruction,” according to an announcement from Gov. Nathan Deal’s office. With its high poverty rate, many children in Athens-Clarke County experience some sort of trauma, and many show signs of post-traumatic stress syndrome, panelists said at a community forum earlier this year. The school district, social agencies and other groups met this spring as they launched an effort to make Athens a “trauma-informed community.” In schools, one result is an approach to discipline that encourages teachers and administrators to try to understand how trauma underlies many discipline issues. Teachers say they are more and more seeing the signs of post-traumatic stress syndrome — hypervigilance, distrust, an inability to concentrate, flying into a rage for no apparent reason, etc. The $669,000 grant will allow the school district to train teachers and caregivers in the school district’s Early Learning Center in how to recognize trauma and how to help children deal with trauma. A multidisciplinary team, including early learning experts from the University of Georgia, mental health professionals from area social service agencies, private agencies and other groups, will work with the educators and children. …

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