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Friday, December 4, 2015

Adverse Childhood Experiences Documentary Film

On December 3, 2015, the Pensacola chapter of the League of Women's Voters' education committee, the latter chaired by Ms. Paula Montgomery, showed the documentary film, Paper Tigers.  The Pensacola News Journal hosted the film and the newspaper's Consumer Experience Director, Ms. Teresa Zwierzchowski, moderated the Question & Answer session following the film.  The film showing was also co-sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers.

The following information is from the film's press release:

"Paper Tigers follows a year in the life of an alternative high school in Walla Walla, WA, that has radically changed its approach to disciplining its students, and in the process has become a promising model for how to break the cycles of poverty, violence and disease that affect families. The film is ideal viewing for educators, administrators, health-care staff, parents, social workers, mentors, and social justice advocates. Paper Tigers is designed to spark dialogue and offer hope to schools and youth struggling with dropout rates, truancy, violence, abuse and drug use."

A two-minute trailer of the film is available.

To find out more about Adverse Childhood Experiences teaching and resources, visit ACE's Connection.

To get more resources regarding ACE's visit.

To take the Adverse Childhood Experiences test and explore its result go here.

Following the film, an excellent panel of scientists, social workers, and educators answered questions from the large crowd.  The panel included:

Dr. James Arruda, Chair of the Department of Psychology, University of West Florida.  In addition to his PhD in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island, he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Neuropyschology at Brown University's School of Medicine.

Dr. Sam Matthews, a Pensacola native, is Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of West Florida and a visiting Professor in Educational Sciences at Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia.  He received his PhD in 1980 from the University of Wisconsin.  His experience working with community-based projects and using a community participatory research approach has included developing federally funded educational and developmental programs for youth living in high crime and high poverty communities.  These programs include:  creating a storefront after school program in a subsidized housing complex; developing a community-based mentoring program for youth exposed to domestic violence; developing a classroom-based program to re-engage secondary students who had experienced adverse childhood events that likely led to behavioral challenges; and, working with Legal Services of Northwest Florida, Children's Home Society, Families First Network, and Circuit 1 of the Division of Children and Families (and other agencies) to support LGBTQ youth who have been removed from or run away from their families of origin due to responses to the youth's sexual orientation.

Dr. Dione King is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work, University of West Florida.  She has degrees from the University of Georgia and Spelman College.  Her career began as a middle school teacher in Baton Rouge which led her into social work.  As a social worker, she has worked with children and families experiencing domestic violence and homelessness, as well as those within the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.  Her research examines adolescent and young adult risk behaviors including substance use and mental health symptomology, as well as minority health disparities.  Her research has received financial support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Verizon Wireless Foundation.  She is also honored to have been recognized as the 2015 National Association of Social Workers Northwest Florida unit Social Work Educator of the Year.

Dr. Lisa Joyner is the coordinator of Student Services for the Escambia County School District.  She earned her PhD in Education in Administrative Studies.  She began her career in 1999 with the school district as a Social Studies teacher.  She has a Master's degree in counseling and psychology.  Her degree enabled her to work as a high school guidance counselor for nine years.  She was then promoted to her current coordinator position.  As the district's coordinator, she oversees five departments: school counselors, psychological services, health services, school social workers, and positive behavior support.

Ms. Esi Shannon, is the Assistant Principal at Escambia High School for Student Services.  One of her responsibilities is overseeing the high school's mentoring program.  Ms. Shannon has been an educator for 19 years and earned a B.S. degree in History Education, English Education, and a Master's of Education in Leadership.  She taught in private schools for four years, managed tutoring services for eight years, partnering with Santa Rosa County public schools.  She has been in public education with the Escambia County School District since 2007.  She has worked in urban communities in church ministry in Pensacola, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama, for twenty-six years.  (Disclosure: I mentor three youths under her direction).

The following three video segments in order of presentation are of the Question & Answer session following the screening of the Paper Tigers movie.