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Family Resiliency Community Conversations Series

McMinnville, Ore. — Throughout Oregon and the nation, leaders in the fields of education and healthcare are recognizing the importance of trauma-informed care. As one such local leader, Yamhill Community Care is pleased to announce a series of community conversations to continue the movement begun at the Family Resiliency Conference held in McMinnville in October 2015.

This series of seven sessions will include screenings of films that have messages about resiliency, followed by a facilitated discussion about the films’ topics. Donations for each event will benefit a different local organization that addresses resiliency in our community.

The first event in this series will be a screening of the documentary Paper Tigers at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, September 27th at McMinnville Coming Attractions Movie Theatre. This screening and the following discussion will be jointly hosted by Yamhill Community Care and McMinnville School District.

Paper Tigers follows six troubled teens over the course of a year at Lincoln Alternative High School in rural Walla Walla, Washington. Paper Tigers is a testament to what the latest developmental science is proving: that one caring adult can help break the cycle of adversity in a young person’s life. The film follows students like Aron, a senior who avoids eye contact and barely speaks in class; freshman Kelsey, who struggles with meth addiction and abusive relationships; and Steven, a senior who has been in and out of juvenile hall since junior high for fights and threatening teachers. As the teachers slowly gain their students’ trust, they hear harrowing tales of physically abusive and negligent parents, homelessness, sexual abuse, and more. Despite the upheaval in their home lives, the students find the support they need at Lincoln to make academic progress and find less destructive ways of coping. They also find hope for becoming healthy and productive adults as they go out into the world.

Locally, Dr. Peg Miller, a pediatrician at Physician’s Medical Center and member of Yamhill Community Care’s Early Learning Council, has been a leading voice educating the community around ACE’s and trauma informed care. The landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, conducted with over 17,000 families shows that traumatic events during childhood greatly increase the risk of problems like addiction, suicide, and even heart disease in adulthood. “We need to recognize children who are at risk and intervene early with children that may have been exposed to violence or maltreatment,” said Dr. Peg Miller. “We need to be trauma-informed, and instead of thinking “what is wrong with this child?” think “what has happened to this child?”

This event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required. Go to http://svy.mk/2b07hiK. Donations made during the Paper Tigers screening will be accepted on behalf of teen parent programs in Yamhill County. For information about this story, contact Jenn Richter, Early Learning Coordinator, (503)376-7421, jrichter@yamhillcco.org.

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