Patrick Sidmore, a health planner for the Alaska Mental Health Board, talks on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, about new studies in addressing emotional trauma in young students. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Patrick Sidmore, a health planner for the Alaska Mental Health Board, talks on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, about new studies in addressing emotional trauma in young students. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Program increases awareness of effects of childhood trauma

As Natalie Turner walked into a fourth-grade classroom at Glacier Valley Elementary on Friday, the fingers started wiggling.

The fourth-graders greeted her silently, holding up their index fingers and bending them up and down. Turner returned the gesture, which they call the “one-finger wave,” and the class carried on uninterrupted.

Turner is the assistant director of the Child and Family Research Unit at Washington State University, but the students at Glacier Valley know her as “the brain lady.”

Starting this school year, Turner has made monthly trips to Glacier Valley as part of CLEAR (Collaborative Learning for Educational Achievement and Resilience). Through monthly sessions, this program aims to increase understanding of the effects of childhood trauma in the learning process.

For the rest of this story, visit the Juneau Empire.

Molly Hillis, of the KinderReady Program at Harborview Elementary School, left, speaks during a trauma sensitive schools workshop at Juneau-Douglas High School on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. Ted Wilson, Director of Teaching and Learning, is right. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Molly Hillis, of the KinderReady Program at Harborview Elementary School, left, speaks during a trauma sensitive schools workshop at Juneau-Douglas High School on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. Ted Wilson, Director of Teaching and Learning, is right. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Natalie Turner, Assistant Director of the Child and Family Research Unit at Washington State University, spends two days a month teaching students and teachers at Glacier Valley Elementary School about “flipping their lids” and avoiding emotional trauma. Turner was photographed on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Natalie Turner, Assistant Director of the Child and Family Research Unit at Washington State University, spends two days a month teaching students and teachers at Glacier Valley Elementary School about “flipping their lids” and avoiding emotional trauma. Turner was photographed on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Natalie Turner, Assistant Director of the Child and Family Research Unit at Washington State University, spends two days a month teaching students and teachers at Glacier Valley Elementary School about “flipping their lids” and avoiding emotional trauma. Turner was photographed on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Natalie Turner, Assistant Director of the Child and Family Research Unit at Washington State University, spends two days a month teaching students and teachers at Glacier Valley Elementary School about “flipping their lids” and avoiding emotional trauma. Turner was photographed on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

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