Third Annual Education Event

"Educating the Traumatized Child" was the theme of the fall UPT Education Team's event at Trinity Emmanuel Presbyterian Church on October 17, 2013.

Panelists sitting at a table; Wilkinson speaking

L-r: William Wilkinson, Jerome Underwood, Teisha Maldonado, and Erica Bryant

After announcements of UPT education-related programs and dinner, Rev. Dr. William Wilkinson, Pastor, Trinity Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, introduced the panel:

  • Erica Bryant, Education Columnist, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • Teisha Maldonado, School Coordinator, Student & Family Support Center, Rochester City School District (RCSD), social worker at East High School, and member of Calvary St. Andrews Presbyterian Parish
  • Jerome Underwood, Sr. Director of Youth and Family Services, RCSD (includes the Attendance Blitz)


  • Many RCSD families are in a constant state of trauma
  • Trauma takes many forms (violence, addiction, hunger, hopelessness, unemployment)
  • These families do not have the resiliency that comes with social capital
  • One cannot learn when the brain is filled with stress hormones
  • What gets measured gets focused on and the focus is not on healing trauma

Actions for Discernment

  • Train all school personnel in healing trauma practices.
  • Book study (Reaching and Teaching, Children Who Hurt)
  • Learn how to engage traumatized children and their parents
  • Advocate at Board of Education meetings for more social workers and school psychologists
  • Invite Board of Education to UPT Urban Education meetings
  • Donate food, school supplies, and clothes to schools
  • Plug in where your skills are
  • Get students in school

Ideas for direct-help and advocacy

Beth Laidlaw with microphone

Beth Laidlaw, Chair,
UPT Education Team

A theme of the panelists comments was that children need to be surrounded by loving adults. "It's too quiet. We need help from the villagers."

  • Go to school board meetings and speak
  • Invite school board members into a conversation, e.g., in churches
  • Continue in-school tutoring programs
  • Tutor during lunch period, AKA "Club 22" because 22 credits are required to graduate
  • Take part in the Attendance Blitz on Thursdays
  • Share what you love to do. Kids need to see that non-paid people are also interested
  • Enable kids to do project they can be proud of (e.g., greenhouse where kids grow vegetables)
  • Donate items to school, e.g., food items for consumption in school (granola bar, cup of noodles) or food to take home
  • Donate clothing
  • Send your ideas

UPT education-related activities

View of meeting room

Overview of meeting room