Aspire-Connect-Thrive: Pioneering Trauma-Informed Education in Hartford

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April 2017

From Hartford Public Schools (original post

The Village for Families & Children has been a longstanding partner of Hartford Public Schools in many initiatives including school-based mental health clinics, community schools, 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Family Resource Centers to name a few.  This past summer, the agency was selected to implement the Communities Addressing Childhood Trauma (ACT) initiative, a multilevel trauma-informed intervention.  The aim of the initiative is to promote healthy behaviors for youth who are at risk for poor health and poor life outcomes because of childhood trauma.  The Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded seven of these grants nationally in order to strengthen both awareness of and response to the links between trauma and student achievement.

The Aspire-Connect-Thrive Academy at Sarah J. Rawson Elementary School has three long term objectives: to increase social-emotional competence, to improve the environment of relationships for children and to promote a healthier lifestyle for children.  The intervention includes teaching children coping skills and mindfulness strategies as well as training teachers in classroom practices that promote a safe and nurturing school climate for children who may have challenges focusing on learning.  There is also a strong family component to support parents as they help their children to process and cope with traumatic events.  All students are also screened and assessed to determine whether individual or group therapeutic interventions would be helpful.  Hartford Public Schools looks forward to learning with and from The Village as we seek to expand our work in developing trauma-informed schools in the district and helping all of our students to thrive.

If you would like more information about the ACT program, feel free to contact Aldwin Allen, senior directory for community programs at The Village, at or 860-297-0521.