Spotlight on Tennessee ACEs Initiative with WCTE

Posted by Kate Spears on

On this edition of WCTE's Get Ready To Learn radio show, host Cindy Putman is joined by WCTE's Director of Content Brent Clark to discuss chronic childhood trauma, or what experts call adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

ACEs, which has becoming a topic with a bit of buzz surrounding it, 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.

We've always known that certain factors in the life of a child can play a negative role in the child's development, but it is only with the further study surrounding ACEs that experts are beginning to understand just what those negative effects will look like. 

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. It is 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. 

The Goals: 

  • Increase the potential that every child born in Tennessee has the opportunity to lead a healthy,  productive life.
  • Raise public knowledge about ACEs.
  • Impact public policy in Tennessee to support prevention of ACEs and to reduce community conditions that contribute to them.
  • Support innovative local and state projects that offer fresh thinking and precise measurement of impact in addressing ACEs and toxic stress in children.
  • Seek sustainable funding to ensure the state maintains a long-term commitment to reduce the impact of adverse childhood experiences.
  • Embrace open, responsive governance through statewide planning groups and the Three Branches Institute, comprised of leadership from the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government, who were invited by the Governor to form a common agenda to advance child welfare and realign the juvenile justic

WCTE was awarded a grant for a documentary series that highlights the great work taking place across the state to address ACEs. WCTE spent three weeks traveling across Tennessee to talk with faith based organizations, community centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, doctors, educators, judges, and other individuals who were willing to share their personal stories about ACEs. The documentary will air on WCTE beginning in February 2018. 

To learn more about the State of Tennessee ACEs initiative, click here. Curious about your own ACEs score, based on factors from your own childhood? Click here to take the ACEs assessment. 

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Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM


 

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Workshops!

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.