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Professional Development

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
Dr. Jayne Singer discusses how to become a trauma-informed community
Community Screening of Resilience deepened awareness of ACEs
Left to Right: Joanne Gravell, Heather Forkey, Charlene Mara, Eve Gilmore

Training and development of early educators is part of the ongoing work of Edward Street in collaboration with other community organizations.  

Trauma & Resilience – Raising Awareness & Educating Our Community

The experience of early trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) impacts our entire community. Not isolated to specific zip codes or related to socio-economic status, the impact of trauma is pervasive and has long reaching health and well-being implications.  Yet, we know what to do to build protective factors and resilience.  In 2017, Edward Street began partnering to raise awareness and identify strategies to become a more trauma-informed community.

  • Dr. Nadine Burke Harris Leads Powerful Presentation on ACEs – Edward Street collaborated with The Health Foundation and more than a dozen organizations to sponsor a presentation and discussion by world-renowned pediatrician, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris who specializes in trauma-informed care. Pediatricians, nurses and mental health professionals say beside teachers, principals, business and community leaders, and politicians to learn about ACEs and begin to develop an integrated approach to addressing the impact of ACEs in our community.
  • An Evening with Dr. Jayne Singer – Worcester’s Together for Kids Coalition sponsored world-renowned expert, Dr. Jayne Singer from the Brazelton Touchpoints Center. Dr. Singer facilitated an interactive presentation on building protective factors for families of young children.  She painted pictures of the issues for children experiencing toxic stress, as well as the longer-term repercussions, and she provided strategies and responses that would directly change that trajectory and create resilient children and an engaged and trauma-sensitive community.
  • Community Screening of Resilience – Committed to expanding the conversation and learning, Edward Street again collaborated with Together for Kids Coalition to host a screening of Resilience: The Biology of Stress and The Science of Hope. The powerful film generated an engaging cross-sector dialog facilitated by graduate students from Wheelock College’s School of Social Work.
  • Early Educators Tackle Trauma with Dr. Heather Forkey – Edward Street collaborated with Quinsigamond Community College and Center for Childcare Careers for a specialized early educator training session on trauma-informed care for young children with Dr. Forkey, UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, Division of Child Protection. Early educators are often on the front lines working with children experiencing trauma. They explored the impact, their own histories, and identified with strategies they could implement to strengthen resilience in the children and families with whom they work.

Cross-Sector Training Institutes

In June 2014, Edward Street was awarded a state Early Learning Challenge Grant focused on educator alignment from birth to 3rd grade.  In these critical early years, children and families transition between multiple learning and care environments. 

Four cross-sector professional development events connected educators, leaders and social service organizations

  • Moving Beyond Your Bake Sales and Back to School Nights: Worcester’s Engagement of Families as Learning Partners (May 2015)
    Nationally renowned experts, Dr. Karen Mapp (Harvard Graduate School of Education) and Dr. Maria Paredes (WestEd) facilitated a highly interactive session to provoke new thinking and strategies for building successful school/program-family partnerships.  Educators and leaders examined current research and new models to effectively partner with families. They engaged with colleagues from across the city to redesign and develop family engagement plans to more effectively partner with families in their children’s education.
  • Building the Strongest Foundations: Understanding the Application of Massachusetts Standards for Preschool and Kindergarten Social-Emotional Learning and Approaches to Play and Learning Standards (September 2015)
    This three-part series was the first training offered on new SEL/APL Early Learning Standards in the state.  The modules explored the structure, content and design of the standards, created direct application experiences into classrooms, provided opportunities for reflective practice, and strengthened educator knowledge of the evidenced-based CLASS tool and the centrality of the adult-child relationship in achieving the standards.
  • Great Kindergarten Classrooms: What Do They Look Like and Where Do We Begin? (June 2015)
    Dr. Valora Washington and the CAYL Institute facilitated a special full-day session designed for elementary principals to examine brain science, current research and practice, and issues related to building great kindergarten classrooms.  Participants also left with a robust toolkit.
  • Aligning for Success: Early Learning Convening  (January 2016)
    Leadership from education, philanthropy, business and city government convened to review progress in the community’s alignment and development of an early learning framework for Worcester.  Facilitated discussion groups yielded feedback and ideas that were incorporated into Growing the Heart of the Commonwealth: Early Alignment for Children’s Lifelong Success.