Tennessee State Representative (District 81) Debra Moody—who serves on the education committee for the state—spent part of the day at Fall-Hamilton Elementary a pilot school for the Governor’s Building Strong Brains Innovation Grant Project: Mitigating the impacts of childhood adversity and promoting resilience and school success for all students through trauma-informed school culture and practices. The program was created to help Tennessee children lead productive, healthy lives and ensure the future prosperity of the state.

The project is two-fold, designed to promote:

  1. a) widespread awareness about the science behind adversity and toxic stress, and the impacts of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on lifelong health and school success, and;
  2. b) trauma-informed school culture and practices throughout MNPS.
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Fall-Hamilton Elementary School was chosen as the model pilot school for the program with trauma-informed practitioner on staff and fully integrated trauma-informed school culture and practices, including targeted interventions for individual students.

“The Mitigating ACEs through Trauma-Informed School Practices Initiative in Metro Nashville run by Dr. Mary Crnobori is noteworthy,” said Representative Moody. “If our schools in Tennessee can empower parents and students like they do at the initiatives pilot school, Fall-Hamilton, then our students will have the skills needed to be successful learners in any setting.”

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MNPS also has 10 schools that received funds to implement these practices on a smaller scale. In addition, related professional development is available for all 168 MNPS schools and MNPS affiliates. So far, 5,400 MNPS educators and community stakeholders have been trained including more than 70 schools, 21 MNPS departments and 20 conference presentations. This initiative supports the Metro Schools’ strategic framework under the Our Students focus, by establishing a positive school culture and climate, and responding to pre-K-12 students’ physical, social and emotional needs.