Click the image below to read our Fall 2015 Transformation Newsletter
At the Family Help Center, we have over 60 clinicians in schools across Maryland. Not just our own schools, but public elementary, middle and high schools in several counties.
This is a story one of our clinicians shared with us that happened to her as we are about to begin the 2015-2016 school year.
Today I had a “…and this is why I love my profession!”moment. I had my last session with one of my 5th grade students who is moving on to middle school for 6th grade. She scheduled this meeting because she wanted to read me a story she had been writing throughout her summer break.
My heart was touched as she read her survival story of depression and bullying. She became choked up at one point and needed me to read the words because she couldn’t say them out loud. What I read was her confession of the first time she chose to cut her wrists due to being bullied by her peers.
I was done after that! Lord knows I wanted to cry it out and hug her through the pain but of course I had to keep my counselor-ish composure and help her process through the emotions and learn about self-love and self-forgiveness.
I love that God allowed me to cross this young girls path at this point in her life. I’m simply an instrument being used to provoke positive change in the lives of my youngins.
It stormed all night and into the early morning hours, causing several of us here at the Guild to have mild panic attacks, wondering if the weather would cooperate for us yet again. But by 7am the sun was working its magic and Guild staffers along with the wonderful people at Hayfields Country Club, were well into their preparations for the guests arrival.
Golfers enjoyed breakfast in the clubhouse, entered our raffles and did a little shopping before hitting the links for our 9:15 tee time. The foursomes, rounded out with a variety of celebrity golfers, including Tippy Martinez, Rick Dempsey, Michael McCrary, Brad Jackson, and Al Bumbry, played in a best ball competition while having fun with a variety of competitions throughout the course. What started out as questionable weather, turned into a day that would require sunblock.
We are grateful for the co-chairs of our Golf Classic Committee, Terry Carnes and Paul Hoyer and for the committee members for helping to make this day happen.
Thank you to our many sponsors, without whom we couldn’t continue to grow; ConTest, CECA, CANUSA, Interactive Touchscreen Solutions, RMTS Insurance, Allegis Group, Partlow Insurance, Avena Contracting, KatzAbosch, Mainfreight, Steel Building Specialists, Anderson, Coe & King LLP, Exceed Corporation, Jeffery Brown Contracting, Millenium 2 Autoglass, Cigna, Consolidated Health Services, Eastern Moving and Storage, Evergreen Health Cooperative, Fisher Wealth Strategies, SC&H Group, Dr. Scott Hagaman and Incite Creative.
In the end, we were able to raise over $65,000 for The Children’s Guild.
The Summer 2015 Edition of our newsletter “Transformation” is out. The newsletter highlights events, news and successes from the past quarter. You can view and download a copy here: Transformation Summer 2015
Close to 100 individuals learned about the impact of poverty and trauma on the brain at the Sixth Annual SOS Child Abuse Prevention Summit held Tuesday. Frank Kros, president of The Upside Down Organization, executive vice president of The Children’s Guild and director of the Nation At-Risk Education Network, was the presenter.
Kros presents training workshops nationwide to parents, educators and child-serving professionals. He covered various topics, including brain-based learning, aggressive and violent behaviors, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and neuroscience of the brain.
Kros began the day defining what constitutes child abuse or child maltreatment. He acknowledged four types of child maltreatment: neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. Additionally, events that do not involve maltreatment but can be very traumatic to children experiencing them were death of a parent, sibling or caretaker; separation from parents; relocation; and disasters. Kros says that all traumatic events have an impact on the brain.
“Whether that trauma comes from abuse or whether it comes from poverty, it impacts the brain,” Kros said. “What we have learned from neuroscience is the effect on the brain is the same.”
A child’s brain can be affected in two big ways when a child experiences trauma. First, the child’s stress response system is exaggerated and prolonged, releasing very high levels of cortisol into the system. Second, the child’s brain can actually change, resulting in a smaller corpus callossum, smaller hippocampus, larger, more active amygdala and smaller, less active frontal lobes.
“The stress chemical called cortisol gets really high,” Kros said. “When it gets really high, that effects a child’s learning ability. The very organ that does our memory-making dies, the cells are killed by that excess stress chemical. When traumatic levels of stress happen, you have damage to your learning ability.”
Many of those in attendance work in local schools as counselors, teachers and social workers. Kros says much is needed to provide an optimal learning environment for children.
“There are a couple of important things that need to happen for children to be able to learn deeply,” Kros said. “First of all, they have to be physically safe, you have to be emotionally safe, you have to be well fed and hydrated, you can’t be too hot or too cold and you cannot be in too much pain. Creating safe and welcoming classrooms in schools is our first challenge.”
SOS envisions a community in which every man, woman and child lives without fear of interpersonal violence. The Child Abuse Prevention Summit is held each year in an effort to educate community members about the impact of trauma and ways to prevent abuse.
“We have had a wonderful turnout today,” Connie Cahoone, executive director of SOS said. “Frank is a wonderful presenter; it has been very informative.”
The Children’s Guild named Lisa Anderson program director of residential services. She brings more than 11 years of experience in the behavioral health field. In her new position, Anderson directs The Guild Academy, which consists of The Children’s Guild’s group homes in Maryland.
Prior to joining The Children’s Guild, Anderson was the deputy superintendent of treatment for the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services for the District of Columbia, where she oversaw facility rehabilitation and treatment services. Previously, she was a youth treatment manager and team leader for the department.
Anderson was a program manager for Langley Residential Support Services in McLean, Virginia, and Pines Residential Treatment Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. She also coached track and field for Cincinnati Public Schools in Ohio.
Among her community service activities, Anderson serves on the committee for breast cancer awareness for the Pink Hope Foundation in Annapolis, Maryland. She also is a member of Emerging Leaders in Fairfax, Virginia.
Anderson is certified as an applied forensic specialist from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where she is studying for a master’s degree in forensic psychology. She earned her bachelor’s degree in family studies with a minor in educational leadership at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
An article published in the Washington, DC CityBizList states:
The Children’s Guild signed a lease for 60,000 square feet of space for its first charter school in Washington, The Children’s Guild District of Columbia Public Charter School. The school will open at 2146 24th Place NE in Ward 5 in fall 2015 for 450 students in kindergarten through eighth grade who live in the District of Columbia.
The landlord is funding and managing the renovations of the property to the Guild’s specifications, and The Children’s Guild will be the sole tenant of the building, which will be ready for occupancy Sept. 8, the beginning of the 2015 school year.
“We chose this property and location because the traffic generated and parking required will not inconvenience the local neighborhood and having the entire property to ourselves will allow us to create the environment and culture we desire in our schools,” said Steve Baldwin, executive vice president of The Children’s Guild.
“We were also very impressed by the quality and commitment of the landlord, Indrit Bregasi, who has a strong personal desire to work closely with us to provide an innovative, high-quality education for the children who reside in the District of Columbia,” he said.
The Children’s Guild District of Columbia Public Charter School will serve the accelerated learner, the struggling learner and students with special education needs, tailoring instruction to the needs of the student. Offering an enriched physical environment with supportive academic programming, hands-on project-based learning, character development and arts integration as well as information and communication technology, The Children’s Guild uses the philosophy of Transformation Education, a student-centered approach to teaching and learning based on the belief that school culture is one of the most powerful teaching tools available in education today.
Open houses will be held at the school on Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on April 9, 23 and 30 and May 7 for parents to learn more about the school.
The Children’s Guild is a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of the TranZed Alliance with over 60 years of experience educating children. The organization operates five schools in Maryland, including two special-education schools, two charter schools and one contract school.
Keisha Bryan has been named the new Director of Family Life Education. Bryan joined The Children’s Guild in 2008 as a family life educator for Treatment Foster Care and transitioned to licensing and compliance manager for the program in 2011. In 2014, Bryan became a clinical supervisor for The Children’s Guild’s Outpatient Mental Health Clinic, which provides clinical services in more than 60 public schools throughout the region.
In her new position, Bryan oversees our Treatment Foster Care program, which helps children who have complex problems and are difficult for a regular foster home to manage.
Prior to joining The Children’s Guild, Bryan worked as a therapist at Astor Family Services in the Bronx, New York City, as well as at an all-boys group home in Syracuse, New York. Bryan also worked at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, while she completed her graduate studies.
Bryan is a licensed clinical social worker and holds certifications in social work, including cognitive-behavioral therapy. She earned her Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Science in social work at Syracuse University in New York.