Now that Spring Break is over, the end of the school year is drawing nearer, which means that our It’s About T.I.M.E. program will soon celebrate two full years of partnering with Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD). Isn’t it incredible how time flies?

Launched at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year in partnership with LBUSD and Beach High School, It’s About T.I.M.E. is a training program on the trauma-informed approach based on ChildTrauma Academy’s Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) and has since expanded to Poly Academy of Achievers and Leaders.

The goal of the program is to support and encourage educators in the understanding of how trauma impacts developing brains, and the implementation of the trauma-informed approach on campus. The approach focuses on two core principles indicated in the program’s name: building trusting relationships between students and school staff over time, and providing appropriate sensory-based soothing activities for stress in and outside the classroom.

And just as It’s About T.I.M.E. encourages the formation of healthy bonds between educators and their students for the purpose of creating healing, learning environments, Nathan first takes the time to do the same with both educators and students in order to support and encourage them in the trauma-informed approach.

The community that is formed within those bonds on both school campuses has inspired positive outcomes, both quantifiable and qualitative. And, the movement has only just begun.

Read on to learn what both educators and students are saying:

“This is my favorite year teaching…EVER…because of Nathan. It has a lot to do with the mindset that I started the school year with because his training helped me understand the students’ behavior rather than just trying to control it.”

– Teacher, Beach

“20 minutes of using these tools [from the It’s About T.I.M.E. Calming Toolkit] gives me 70 minutes of work from the students. If someone is having a bad day, it really helps calm them down. I stand at the door with the box, handing the sensory items out. Kids ask for it all the time. That box is a godsend. I would have never thought of using something like that until your training. I’ve seen it work so many times.”

-Teacher, PAAL

 “It’s nice to know that there’s a person to always be there for you. Nathan helped me feel like I could accomplish the things I needed to do to succeed. He gave me hope.”

-Student, Beach

“The sensory things [from the It’s About T.I.M.E. Calming Toolkit] are calming. It’s like it sucks the stress out of my body.”

– Student, PAAL

 “It’s About T.I.M.E. program has been a great addition to our school support systems. I’ve seen Nathan’s direct positive impact on both individuals and groups of students as well as staff due to his interactions with them. Through It’s About T.I.M.E., Nathan has helped the staff understand the science of trauma, explaining the ‘why’ behind the many successful student support programs we have here at Beach.”

– Troy Bennett, Principal of Beach

“We all know that teachers very seldom have the time and capacity to deal with kids on a personal level the same way that we do in the front office, or counselors and therapists can. But the space that [Nathan] creates impacts the back end of it because after [students] share whatever has affected them in their lives [with Nathan] they feel more comfortable sharing it with us. And I think that allows us to move them forward a lot better.”

-Lloyd Wilson, Dean of Students at PAAL

“What’s really unique about the work that Nathan does at a school site is that he’s very naturally inserting himself into a culture that already exists. Nathan comes, and [with the students] doesn’t call attention to himself or make any announcement of the work he’s going to do. He just comes in and starts doing a lot of side-by-side interacting with kids. That can look like playing basketball, card tricks, building things, eating in the lunch area with our kids so those relationships start developing really naturally. And that’s what’s really special is that he’s not bringing something to us, he’s becoming a part of us and then doing the work within that context.”

-Suzanne Caverly, Assistant Principal of PAAL at the start of 2017-2018 school year

You can be a part of this life-changing movement, too. Join us for our 2nd Annual It’s About T.I.M.E. Social Hour on Thursday, May 10 to keep the movement going in our Long Beach schools. Tickets are available for purchase at http://bit.ly/socialhour2018. See you there!

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