On Wednesday, October 23rd, please consider joining City Center for Collaborative Learning’s screening of Paper Tigers, a groundbreaking documentary that changed how we interpret the impact of trauma on our youth.

This powerful documentary follows the lives of six at-risk teenagers in Walla Walla, Washington, all enrolled at the alternative school: Lincoln High. After attending a seminar on Adverse Childhood Experiences and their effects on the developing brain, Lincoln principal Jim Sporleder realized that stressed brains cannot learn.  Thus, Spoerleder introduced  “Trauma Informed Practice” to the school, training all staff to provide the support students needed to break destructive behavior patterns. The change resulted in a dramatic decrease in school violence and skyrocketing graduation rates.

Each year, CITY “aims to bring films to the Tucson community that explore innovations, thorny issues, and compelling topics in the field of education.” Past topics have included the technological gender gap, engineering innovation, and the transformation of the educational system.

“This is a powerful opportunity to start a conversation in our community,” says Tim Grivois-Shah, Director of Professional Learning and Community Engagement at City Center for Collaborative Learning. “What would it take to be a city that doesn’t give up on its youth?”

After the film screening, there will be a panel discussion with guest panelists who range from school principals to mental health coordinators to representatives from YOTO.

The main goal for this event, says Grivois-Shah, is to increase awareness that trauma informed practice is an essential practice.  “This is a story that educators and the community need to hear,” he notes.

Grivois-Shah is passionate about making Tucson into a community that supports and encourages its youth.  “Regardless of your understanding of Trauma Informed Practice,” he says, “what’s important to understand is that trauma is optional.”  He goes on to explain that through education, effort, and open discourse, Tucson can become a place where our youth do not experience trauma.

“Tucson can become a place that can help students heal,” he states.

The film screening and panel conversation will be held on Wednesday, October 23rd from 6:15-9 PM at City Center for Collaborative Learning, 37 E. Pennington Street. The suggested donation is $6, with 50% of donations going to support Youth On Their Own.  Click here to purchase your ticket.

For an excellent article on how educators can support homeless youth, read Five Concrete Ways Schools Can Support Homeless Youth, by Tim Grivois-Shah, on the CITY blog.


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