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From the Community

This is What Trauma-Informed Hunger Relief Looks Like

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021 CUMAC’s two-story facility in Northern New Jersey has the look and feel of a standard food bank, with a warehouse, a handful of trucks, a client-choice pantry, and even a small garden. In practice, the operation has a mission that goes much further than giving out food or even addressing the root causes of hunger. In the view of Executive Director Mark Dinglasan, problems related to food insecurity go back — way back — to childhood traumas and the harmful impacts they...

Mental Health Champion

Community Builder Award Uzziah Campbell | Calm & Cure Candle Co., LLC Calm & Cure Candle Co., LLC, was established in 2020 by then 11-year old Uzziah Campbell. Uzziah had a vision of helping those experiencing stress, anxiety, depression and trauma brought on by the pandemic and racial injustice. He felt that candles were the answer because he watched his mother, who was diagnosed with PTSD, use candles and essential oils to ease her symptoms. Uzziah first started making candles to...

Educators share strategies to help students, staff heal from pandemic trauma

The stress, fear, grief and loneliness of the pandemic has weighed hard on school-aged children. Some 31 % of parents reported worsening emotional health among their children, according to a report by the JED Foundation . In addition, there was a 31% jump in mental health emergency room visits for teens between 12 and 17 from 2019 to 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . And it’s little wonder. At least 43,000 children have lost a parent to COVID,...

2021 National Community Leadership Summit - Virtual

We invite you to join us for the 2021 National Community Leadership Summit , hosted by Vital Village Networks. We seek to connect with and learn alongside a national assembly of visionary and collaborative leaders, like you, who are dedicated to the fundamental social transformation necessary to ensure that all children succeed and that families are welcomed as partners and change agents. The summit features two signature conference days, on Monday, October 18th, and Friday, October 22nd,...

There are no perfect parents!

"Parenting is a learned skill, but society says as parents we can only talk about the good things that happen while parenting. It judges parents based on the child’s behavior, clothing and their school attendance. Children are judged by their parent’s behavior, clothing and choices. There is no shortage of blame, shame and judgment to go around. So what happens when a parent has a high ACE score and they want to truly prevent their children from having the same? What happens when they want...

Finding Peace in the Midst of Brokenness: Anonymous Blogger

In honor of mental health month I ask myself this question: What is something you need to start saying “yes” to? To most individuals the answer is very simple; minute. Unfortunately for an over thinker and self-doubter like I this is a loaded questions which constitutes a complex answer. My old self wants to run as fast as I can and hide until the question goes away, but the new me is ready to face it head on. So here it goes. I need to start saying yes to MYSELF! Over the past few months,...

Newark, NJ cop uses 'empathy, compassion' to save suicidal teen on roof

NEWARK — An officer was commended for removing a window and climbing out onto a roof to talk a teenage girl out of jumping. Newark Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara said Officer Elijah Melvin was part of the response to a report of "family trouble" at a home in the South Ward around 5 p.m. Wednesday. He spoke to the girl, who said she was upset about the loss of an older brother. Read More: NJ cop uses 'empathy, compassion' to save suicidal teen on roof | ...

NJ Spotlight News Virtual Roundtable: Back to School in New Jersey: What to Expect this Fall

The educational disruption to New Jersey students due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been extreme by all measures. But with increasing numbers of vaccinated adults in the state and new COVID-19 cases dropping, attention (and planning) is turning to how schools can begin returning to normal for the new school year this fall. A wide range of challenges deserve consideration: Instructional - How will teaching be different once virtually all students are back in the classroom? How will technology...

THE BENEFITS OF BEING VACCINATED

In recognizing Nurses Week, and School Nurse Day, as an urban community school nurse, I am strongly encouraging you in urban communities to become vaccinated. This COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of so many of our loved ones especially in under-served under-privileged communities. Many are hesitant and resistant in becoming vaccinated with reasons as diverse as the neighborhoods. Awareness and access is critical in turning the tide in this pandemic. Research and science supports...

Black Maternal Health Week, Apr. 11-17

Black Maternal Health Week takes place each year from April 11-17. Learn more about this year’s goals, which are to: Deepen the national conversation about Black maternal health in the US; Amplify community-driven policy, research, and care solutions; Center the voices of Black Mamas, women, families, and stakeholders; Provide a national platform for Black-led entities and efforts on maternal health, birth and reproductive justice; and Enhance community organizing on Black maternal health.

What I’ve learned this year: A North Jersey epidemiologist reflects | Opinion

For much of the past few weeks, I’ve been asked to comment on what we have learned as we mark the pandemic’s one-year anniversary from the perspective of an epidemiologist. But I’ve yet to be asked to comment on what I, personally, have learned. When I contemplated that question, I’m deeply, deeply saddened that collectively, we have learned new terms like epidemiology, rate of transmission, and case-fatality rate; but we haven’t come to terms with the fact that we are a country built on...

The Relentless School Nurse: I am a School Nurse in an Urban Rich Community

The urban richness of Camden, New Jersey Whenever I am asked where I work, I describe my community as urban. Starting today, I will use the term urban rich, thanks to a conversation I had with Dwana Young, a new colleague from the New Jersey Office of Resilience . We were engaged in a lively conversation about the exciting work happening in New Jersey and envisioning possibilities for innovative collaborations. Once again, I described my Camden, New Jersey school community as an urban...

Co-regulation with Kids "At-Risk"-Calming Together

Highlights and thoughts from an article by Howard I. Bath: Calming together: The pathway to self-control Neuroscience shows that humans develop their abilities for emotional self-regulation through connections with reliable caregivers who soothe and model in a process called “co-regulation.” Since many troubled young people have not experienced a reliable, comforting presence, they have difficulty regulating their emotions and impulses. Co-regulation provides a practical model for helping...

NJPRAC Summit - April 21, 2021

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! Join the New Jersey Pediatric Residency Advocacy Collaborative (NJPRAC) at the 2021 NJPRAC Summit on Wednesday, April 21 to: Learn about the achievements of NJPRAC Faculty and Residents Discuss the Collaborative’s impactful partnerships with New Jersey’s network of Family Success Centers Understand the intersection of NJPRAC’s work with related statewide initiatives to buffer the effects of adversity on children and families Speakers will share insights into the...

It Takes A Village" Beloved Virtual Parent & Community Leaders Celebrate the Female Nucleus

Dear Partner, Parents Engaging Parents (PEP) invites you to join us on March 24th, 25th, 26th 2021 It Takes A Village" Beloved Virtual Parent & Community Leaders Celebrate the Female Nucleus. We will be hosting a three-day engagement discussing topics surrounding Education, Mental Health, Social Justice, and Economics. These topics are centralized around Parents Engaging Parents’ mission and vision, in promoting civic awareness and proactive community advocacy based on the interests of...

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