Understanding Trauma in the Classroom


Jill Cripe working in a classroom at Townsend Elementary.

Last year, the Starr Global Learning Network (SGLN) began working with the teachers and administration at Townsend Elementary in Jackson, Michigan to help them understand trauma and learn how they can better help their students learn. Several staff members were already familiar with SGLN trainings through a recent conference, and they called on Starr Commonwealth for help.

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We Have Three Conferences in 2018!

Goals 2015

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The Circle of Courage


The Circle of Courage model is the resilience-focused philosophical foundation for the way Starr Commonwealth works with the youth in our care. It is designed to encourage kids to feel safe and comfortable in an environment of understanding and acceptance. Developed from the cultural wisdom of the Lakota people, the Circle of Courage states that Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity are the universal needs all people require to be emotionally well.  Only when these four needs are met are our circles complete.

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Helping Children After Trauma with Brave Bart

Brave BartWe are all aware of the recent tragedies that have befallen our country in the past months: shootings, wildfires, and multiple hurricanes have caused devastation to those who live in the affected areas.

This devastation is not solely felt by adults. So many children have lost their homes, lost family members, or are living in a state of uncertainty for an extended period of time. But, in the words of the immortal Mr. Rogers, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

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Marshall Middle School Reveals Resilient Communities Art Project Mosaic


Linda LaNoue, Mary Gilhuly, and Erica Isham in front of the newly unveiled mosaic in Marshall Middle School.

On Tuesday, August 20th, Marshall Middle School (MMS) unveiled the Resilient Communities Art Project – a mosaic recently installed in the MMS cafeteria. The theme of the mosaic is “Bravery Dwells in Remarkable Places,” with each student featured in the mosaic sharing what being brave looks like to them. This Resilient Communities Art Project brought together diverse groups of youth to demonstrate a sense of vibrancy occurring throughout the Calhoun County area.

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