FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, in partnership with The Bright Futures Fairbanks Leadership Team, held a movie screening and panel discussion on the documentary 'Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope' Friday night for the public to learn how to protect children from the effects of toxic stress.
Residents, teachers and other stakeholders throughout Fairbanks filled the small room at Hunter Elementary to get an inside look at how to better help children suffering from trauma. West Valley teacher Joy Kennedy Grubis, was just one of the many who attended.
"It's so inspiring to me that you came tonight and it's just really touches me that so many people do care and do want to make a difference for our kids,” she said.
The documentary touched on abuse and neglect during childhood, putting children at greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time and early death. The film also focused on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study - also known as ACEs - which provides guidance on how likely a child is to experience trouble later in life, and this information is slowly making its way to Fairbanks.
The Department of Education & Early Development (DEED) and the Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB) have recently release of a new resource for Alaska schools entitled "Transforming Schools: A Framework for Trauma-Engaged Practice in Alaska". A press release sent by the Department of Education & Early Development describes this new resource as an innovative frame work providing schools with a detailed road map illuminating the steps that can better address student needs.
For the school district, something may soon be in the works to get this information out to students and families.
Assistant Principal at West Valley High School Heather Johnson said that this topic is something she feels strongly about, “We play a huge part in our community with raising our children…I think this is a really important piece that the entire community needs to get involved in,” she said.
Putting science into action to help the children of the Fairbanks North Star Borough, viewers left the evening better knowing how to promote resilience in their family and community.
To learn more about the film, bonus content and resources visit https://kpjrfilms.co/resilience/