The Current Approach
Everyday, large numbers of students come to school having been exposed to toxic stresses in their everyday lives. Over time, these stresses impact the student’s behavior and academic performance.
Our nation’s current practice inside classrooms everywhere is to wait until the child “acts out” with symptoms of anxiety and depression. This “acting out” typically leads to disciplinary actions and/or expensive interventions that remove the child from the classroom for periods of the school day further impacting the child’s behavior and academic performance and adding to their stress. This approach leads to interventions that 1) are too late; 2) are too expensive; and 3) unnecessarily pathologize the student.
The current approach puts much of the pressure on teachers, principals and social workers who are spending much of their time attending to the many students who are disruptive during the school day. The result is an unending cascade of disruptive and upset students. And, school professionals who spend much of their day attending to discipline rather than their primary roles.
Miss Kendra Programs aims to reach these highly stressed students before they break down. This is accomplished through methods of early identification, in which every child is asked what is happening in their lives on a regular basis.
The Miss Kendra Programs follow a preventive, public health framework based on
1) Reaching all students,
2) Brief but frequent contact, and
3) Early intervention.
Our programs are:
Educational, giving students language for difficult experiences and tools to teachers and other school professionals to help students;
Interpersonal, teaching students to show care and concern for others who are suffering; and
Strengths-based, helping students develop strategies of resilience and fortitude in the face of adversity.
Our Miss Kendra Programs move schools beyond being trauma-informed into real action.