Earlier in the year, Hope and Cheque Garcia, Back2Back staff, led multiple Trauma Competent Care trainings with Ariel and his staff at House of Hope Children’s Home. They also taught teachers at the school how to lead Nurture Groups.
“We’ve kept in touch with Ariel while we await our return to the D.R.,” shared Hope. “From the beginning, we sensed Ariel was serious about taking what he’d learned in the TCC trainings and truly applying them to all aspects of care for the children he serves.”
About a month ago, Ariel reached out to Hope and Cheque requesting a coaching call as he prepared for the school year. “He was clear on wanting to make a lot of changes and making the workings of the school, and how each classroom was run, trauma-informed as best he could.”
“Cheque and I gave him as many ideas as we could think of,” shared Hope. “He asked specifically about spreading the impact of Nurture Groups throughout the week. I taught him how to divide the content on different days, resulting in increased connection in the classroom,” The Garcia’s also encouraged Ariel to always seek continued education, reading books about trauma and education, and sharing with staff as much as possible.
The school building will also be undergoing transformations as well, in hopes of making the physical environment trauma-informed. Ariel got permission to use empty spaces as additional classrooms, allowing the children to be in smaller groups, with better teacher-to-student ratios. A library will also be turned into a sensory/calm down room.
Ariel is excited for the ways he can transform both the environment and the experience of school for the children in the D.R. Ariel and his team work with populations of children who are extremely impoverished, and come from very high-risk environments. With classrooms and teachers being trauma-informed, children are more regulated and experience greater healing.
Hope and Cheque look forward to more trainings and coaching with Ariel and his team; this is the power of offering best practices open handedly – together, we can engage in the healing of children from hard places.