OWU to host child-wellness discussion


How do you help children who have undergone toxic stress to lessen their risk for disease, homelessness, prison time, and early death? The community is invited to explore this important topic during an upcoming film screening and panel discussion at Ohio Wesleyan University.

The free, two-hour event will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 with a screening of the documentary “Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope.” It will be held in Room 312 of Ohio Wesleyan’s R.W. Corns Building, 78 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.

“Resilience,” created by director-producer James Redford and producer-writer-editor Karen Pritzker, is described by one reviewer as “required viewing for counselors, teachers, school leaders, medical teachers, and open-minded parents that want to address what shouldn’t be bottled up any longer.”

Following the screening, there will be a panel comprised of area professionals who serve children and families that have experienced trauma. Each will make brief remarks, answer moderator questions, and take questions from the audience.

Scheduled panelists are Aaron Cook, director of secondary curriculum and assessment, Delaware City Schools; Judge David Hejmanowski, Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Ohio Probate/Juvenile Division; Josh Page, principal of Conger Elementary School, Delaware City Schools; and Tonia Wilson, housing coordinator of Family Promise of Delaware County.

This event is sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Education in collaboration with A Good Start, a nonprofit organization that provides a literacy rich summer experience for children in two Columbus, Ohio, neighborhoods.

Charity Romero Rose, a teacher at OWU’s Early Childhood Center, founded A Good Start in 2008 and serves as its director. Since its founding, the program has served more than 250 families. Today, it is a partnership among Ohio Wesleyan, Maynard Avenue United Methodist Church, and Neighborhood Services Inc., with support from many other local social service organizations.

“The film and discussion will explore how we can support children managing the effects of poverty, abuse and other types of adverse childhood experiences, that we know has an effect on their brain development and how they interpret the world around them,” said Romero Rose, who will moderate the panel discussion.

“The concept involved, called trauma-informed practice, isn’t new, but it’s important in helping to improve young lives,” Romero-Rose said. “Now we have real science to confirm that this is possibly the greatest risk to public health. I hope people will come join us and leave inspired and empowered to help children.”

Funding for the screening is provided by the Linton Education Fund. Admission is free, but pre-registration is requested via Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.com.

Learn more about the film at https://kpjrfilms.co/resilience, more about A Good Start at www.agoodstartmaynard.com, and more about the OWU Department of Education at www.owu.edu/education.


Special to The Gazette

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