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LYST 281Q CHILDREN LITERACY AND TRAUMA: RESPONDING TO CATASTROPHIC EVENTS AND ON-GOING EMERGENCY SITUATIONS. 1 s.h.
This course focuses on teacher preparedness to support children in emergency situations. Teachers are not therapists but they are often "first responders" when disasters occur. In recent years great attention has been given to emergency planning, but little attention has been paid to teacher preparedness to support the children in their classrooms in the immediate aftermath or a catastrophic event of an on-going emergency situation. This course addresses (1) the social and emotional well-being of children; (2) the ways in which teachers can create classrooms that encourage resiliency; and (3) the importance of ensuring that every child has the opportunity to engage in pedagogical activities that are responsive to their social, emotional and intellectual needs, and support their learning in healthful and productive ways. First hand experiences supporting teachers and children and their families when catastrophic events or on-going emergency situations occur will be discussed including September 11 and Hurricane Katrina, and internationally in regions in the Middle East where there is armed conflict and extreme poverty. The course is informed by medical research on children and trauma, and provides many practical ways in which teachers can support the children in their classrooms. Participants will be encouraged to use literacy to participate in building caring and supportive school communities in which teachers and administrators work together with doctors and mental health professionals as well as parents and family members to support children and youth in the classroom, family and community settings.