Proceeds are being collected by Kai-lee Berke
Based on 83 miles, each worth $315.03
Young children are experiencing trauma at an alarming rate—first, the impact of COVID-19 on their day-to-day lives and the lives of their families, and then, the incredible strain that the current social climate has led to in many of their communities. Pediatricians and educators are anticipating that exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) will have increased exponentially as a result of this pandemic. Exposure to traumatic events can have long term, wide-ranging impacts on children’s physical health (including frequent illness, obesity, asthma and speech problems) and mental health (including learning, memory, mood, relational skills and aspects of executive function). And in the short term, it can leave children in stress-response mode, which makes learning and developing healthy relationships incredibly difficult to do.
That’s why I’ve been so inspired by the work of The Lourie Center, a private, non-profit agency with a mission to improve the social and emotional health of young children and their families. While based in the Washington, DC area, their research has an incredibly broad reach, defining best practices for educating and caring for young children who’ve experienced trauma. I am so proud to have the opportunity to partner with them to support programs and classrooms across the country in providing trauma-informed, responsive care to children in need of it.
I’ve spent my entire professional career focused on the care and education of young children, so The Lourie Center is a natural partner for me and my company, Noni Educational Solutions. But it is deeply personal, too.
My mother died on December 23rd when I was nine years old. She was very sick in the years before she passed. My father split his time between work and the hospital. For me, my early childhood teachers were my constant. These women made me feel loved, nurtured, and supported. They hugged me. They told me that I was smart, capable, strong, and could do anything I set my mind to.
My brother didn’t have that support. He went through those years without the warm, nurturing embrace of a consistent, supportive adult relationship. We came out on the other side of my mother’s death, completely different people and would go on to take opposite paths in life. My brother died of a drug overdose a few years ago.
As I worked with young children and learned more about the critical importance of the early childhood years, and the impact of trauma on a child’s development and learning, I knew I was so blessed to have had the experiences with those women that I did, when I did.
A safe and secure relationship with an adult can act as a buffer between a child and the negative impact of trauma. All children deserve those relationships in their lives. I know from my own teaching experience, how challenging it can be to support children’s social, emotional and mental wellness, particularly when they are in stress-response mode and exhibiting behaviors that make teaching difficult. It takes time that we often don’t have, and it can be emotionally and physically exhausting.
That’s why the research and programs provided by The Lourie Center are so critical. Educators need support to be able to build those strong relationships and break the ongoing cycle of dysregulated behavior for trauma-impacted young children, setting the stage for them to lead healthy, happy, productive, and successful lives.
So, on the morning of the 22nd, I’ll begin a 24-hour run to raise money in support of The Lourie Center’s important work and in honor of my mother and brother.
Here is some quick information about the event:
I understand that this has been a challenging year for many folks, so if donating isn’t in the cards right now, I’ll gladly accept your moral support and hope that you’ll take a moment to learn more about childhood trauma at Noni Educational Solutions.
If you can, I invite you to make a pledge per mile or you can simply make a flat donation.
Thank you so much for supporting The Lourie Center and this event and for being an advocate for children.
|12/22||24-Hour Run for ACEs Awareness||83||$26,147|