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2017-10-11 / News

Luce DHHS Plans Documentary Screening

The Luce County Department of Health and Human Services will present “Paper Tigers,” a James Redford documentary, in the Tahquamenon Area Schools high school auditorium Wednesday, October 18. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the movie will begin at 6:00 p.m.

This is a free event and open to the public.

James Redford documented the lives of staff and students of Lincoln Alternative High School in Walla Walla, WA. Students at this high school had behavioral issues and poor academic performances and were frequently suspended from school.

After discovering the studies on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the high school changed its approach to handling students with kindness, understanding, treatment and in-school suspension versus judgment, suspension and automatic punitive punishments.

The staff at the high school take into account the students’ lives at home as children who suffer from an ACE or trauma, which can come in the form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, as well as increase the risk of certain diseases, behavioral issues, learning problems, substance abuse and early death.

This can happen because the stress associated with these experiences can change the way a child’s brain develops.

In the documentary, Redford showcases the social and human side to ACEs rather than the science behind the approach. The documentary highlights the idea of ACEs, while allowing the students to film their own lives, providing a more personal perspective on the effect of their traumas as well as their struggles, hopes and dreams.

It also demonstrates how teachers are helping the students change their lives in a positive way using new science and fresh methods. “Paper Tigers” is a testament to what the latest developmental science is showing: that just one caring adult can help break the cycle of poverty, violence and disease that affects a young life.

The Luce County Department of Health and Human Services is part of a partnership with the Children’s Trauma Assessment Center of Western Michigan University to become a Trauma Informed Community linking DHHS, schools, courts, mental health and other community partners.

The initiative’s goal is to strengthen collaboration across systems within Luce County to utilize trauma as a common language to understand, identify and respond to the needs of traumatized children, adults, families and professionals, resulting in safe and healthy outcomes for the community.

Luce County has an ongoing need for licensed foster homes to care for foster children of all ages, but especially at-risk teenage youth.

Those interested in becoming a licensed foster parent should contact Jenifer Boyer at the Luce County DHHS at (906) 291-0932; Geraldine Stelmaszek of U.P. KIDS at (906) 281-3276; or Michelle Nettleton at Sault Tribe Binogii Placement Agency at (906) 632-5250.

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