Spotlight on Building Strong Brains & ACES

Posted by Kate Spears on

On this week's Get Ready To Learn Radio show, host Cindy Putman is joined by Brent Clark, Director of Content and Digital Media at WCTE. Today’s topic is ACES- Adverse Childhood Experiences and the recent grant that WCTE has been awarded to produce a six part documentary about this important topic. The State of Tennessee under the guidance of Gov. Haslam has taken this on as a vital initiative to share with all citizens of TN.

Click here to learn more about the Building Strong Brains | Tennessee Aces Initiative.

Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences in Tennessee

Chronic childhood trauma, or what experts call adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), can disrupt a child's brain-building process. Like building a house in a storm or with below-grade materials and tools, ACEs are toxic to brain development and can compromise the brain’s structural integrity. Left unaddressed, ACEs and their effects make it more difficult for a child to succeed in school, live a healthy life and contribute to the state’s future prosperity — our communities, our workforce, and our civic life.

Building Strong Brains: Tennessee ACEs Initiative is a major statewide effort to establish Tennessee as a national model for how a state can promote culture change in early childhood based on a philosophy that preventing and mitigating adverse childhood experiences, and their impact, is the most promising approach to helping Tennessee children lead productive, healthy lives and ensure the future prosperity of the state.

The Tennessee state initiative is born from research gathered in the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and their effects on life-long health and well-being. The study found that the greater the exposure to things such as domestic violence, addiction, depression in early childhood, the greater the risk for later-life problems such as higher risk for chronic illnesses, poverty, depression and addictive behaviors.

Tennessee is undertaking a comprehensive effort to use this powerful insight to improve the lives of the state’s children. Leaders from state government, the business world, advocates, insurers, academia and nonprofit foundations are organized as public and private sector steering groups to guide implementation and provide leadership at the state, regional and community levels.

Community Engagement | WCTE & Ken Burns' The Vietnam War

Putman and Clark discuss the power that WCTE has as a storyteller to share the stories of the citizens that are served by this local PBS station. Clark also discusses the current ways that WCTE is hosting screeners FREE screeners of Ken Burn's "The Vietnam War.” Screeners are free and open to the public, but tickets are required.


  • Cookeville- 9/14 @ Veterans Affairs Service Office; Veterans lunch at noon, screening at 1 p.m.
  • Crossville- 9/15 @ Palace Theatre; Refreshments & social hour 5 p.m., screening 6 p.m.
  • McMinnville- 11/10 @ Park Theater; doors open at 6:45 p.m., screening at 7:15 p.m.


Don’t forget to come to Stations of Imagination-

Saturday, September 9, 10am - 5pm on Fall Fun Fest Main Stage

MC: WCTE's Cindy Putman

Stations of Imagination Main Stage, 10 am - 2 pm

  • 9:30 Music to start the day
  • 10:00 The Johnston Family and Eli Anderson  
  • 10:30 The Centre School of Dance
  • 11:00 Braiden Underwood
  • 11:30 Prescott Middle School Fine Arts
  • 12:00 Monterey High School Drama
  • 12:30 Victory Gymnastics
  • 1:00 Leanne Firestone
  • 1:30 Cookeville Children’s Theatre

Stations of Imagination Character Stage, 10 am - 5 pm (Jefferson on Courthouse lawn)

Sponsored by: Johnston Family, Cumberland Auto Center & Putnam County School System

  • 10:30  Sesame Street Character
  • 11:30 Curious George
  • 12:30  Sesame Street Character
  • 1:30  Curious George
  • 2:30  Sesame Street Character
  • 3:00   Curious George
  • 3:30   Sesame Street Character
  • 4:30   Sesame Street Character

Saturday, September 9, 5-8:30 pm on Jefferson & Broad (in front of Arcade)

  • 6:30-8:30 pm - Silent Disco hosted by WCTE and sponsored by Lenny & Eva
  • 7-8pm -  PBS Kids "Wild Kratts" PBS Kids Film screening hosted by WCTE and sponsored by Cumberland Caverns

Join WCTE's Get Ready To Learn Community Collaboratives for Early Learning Media members Putnam County School System and Putnam County Library at the 2017 WCTE's Stations Of Imagination. This year Putnam County School System invited a special PBS KIDS guest, Curious George to visit Stations Of Imagination. Stop by the PCSS and PCL "Building Brains" booth, check out the PBS KIDS Design Process, and get "Curious about Learning" with Curious George.

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Ready To Learn

Ready To Learn

WCTE's Ready to Learn initiative addresses school readiness in the Upper Cumberland

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WCTE Academic Bowl

WCTE Academic Bowl

Taping January 31 & February 7 @ Derryberry hall on TTU's campus

WCTE's Stations of Imagination at Fall FunFest

WCTE's Stations of Imagination at Fall FunFest

Friday, September 11th from 5pm - 9pm Saturday, September 12th from 10am - 9pm on the Cookeville Square

PBS Parents

PBS Parents

The trusted online resource that's filled with information about your child’s development from birth through the early school years.

PBS Learning Media

PBS Learning Media

PBS LearningMedia™ is the go-to destination for instant access to over 100,000 digital resources for teachers!

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WCTE’s Educational Team can customize workshops or professional development trainings for your group or organization. For workshop information, or to inquire about scheduling a workshop, call 921-528-2222 x. 227 or email us.

Topics are listed below:

  • Using Media as a learning tool
  • Using PBS kids apps to extend learning
  • How to be your child’s first teacher
  • Sesame Street Workshops
  • How does poverty effect a child’s brain
  • Literacy and Math
  • Brain Development

Workshops can be conducted in English and Spanish.