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Conference counsels on supporting students with trauma

Conference counsels on supporting  students with trauma

Sold out Mummery Conference focuses on Trauma in Schools and the Community

By Nancy Vigran, Reporter for the Sun-Gazette

VISALIA – On Thursday, Nov. 8, some 400 educators, medical personnel, therapists, and others will gather at the Visalia Convention Center for the 13th Annual Cynthia Lockhart Mummery Conference. This year’s topic “Building Trauma Informed Schools and Communities,” focuses on the role trauma plays in the school environment. Registration is full. The event is hosted by the Tulare County Child Abuse Prevention Council (TCCAPC).

Keynote speaker Jim Sporleder is a retired high school principal from Walla Walla, Wash.

“Under his leadership, Lincoln High School became a ‘Trauma Informed’ model school, gaining national attention due to a dramatic drop in out of school suspensions, increased graduation rates, and the number of students going on to post-secondary education,” according to Edgardo Monroy, TCCAPC executive director.

A documentary film was produced by KPJR Films about Sporleder’s work. “Paper Tigers” follows Lincoln High students through a year in which Sporleder changes the school’s approach in discipline to help students overcome traumatic events. A screening of the film takes place Wednesday, November 7 at 6 p.m. at the Tulare County Office of Education, 6200 S. Mooney. This viewing is open to conference attendees and the public for free.

Other speakers include Ashley Beecham, a former foster program youth, who will take attendees through “Here’s My Shoes, Walk With Me,” an interactive program providing insight into the struggles and emotional challenges foster youth experience. A panel of five or six current and former foster youth, 15-23¸ will also take place presenting points of view from the perspective of having been through the foster care system while attending school.

Yolanda Echebeste-Silva, LMFT and Ronald Uggla, MS, LMFT will present “The Mindful Professional,” speaking on student trauma and how it presents itself in the classroom setting.

“There is a big need and fortunately a good response of schools offering training for their staff,” Monroy said. While it is difficult, he recognizes, to give personnel a day of training away from the school site, attendees are coming from not only various Tulare County school districts, but Kings and Fresno counties as well including Hanford and Clovis unified school districts.

The conference is named after Cynthia Lockhart Mummery, LMFT, a long-time clinical director at the Tulare Youth Service Bureau, and a TCCAPC member.

“Mummery advocated for abused and neglected children for nearly two decades. She was the heart of the Tulare Youth Bureau until her death in 2002,” Monroy said. “As a member of the TCCAPC, she was instrumental in bringing quality child sexual abuse treatment to Tulare County in the 1980s.”

The conference could not take place without its generous sponsors, Monroy said, including Family Services of Tulare County, Turning Point of Central California, First Five Tulare County, Soroptimist International of Visalia, CASA of Tulare County, Family Healthcare Network, and Visalia Breakfast Lions Club.

While registration for the conference is full, interested parties may still be able to attend Wednesday’s “Paper Tigers” screening at 6 p.m., room permitting. To register for the screening, visit TulareCountyCAPC.org/calendar/13thclmconference

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