Division of the Arts Announces New Focus for Two FY2021 Grant Categories

Grants from community-based organizations and schools that have a
trauma-informed focus will receive funding priority

Wilmington, Del. (January 24, 2020) – As part of its FY2021 grant application cycle, the Division of the Arts invites grant proposals from community-based organizations and schools that demonstrate the utilization of the arts to address trauma-related issues and challenges in communities and schools. Funding priority in the FY2021 grant year will be given to projects that employ the arts to promote mental health. Project Support applications must be submitted through the smARTDE online system and are due by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 2, 2020. Artist Residency applications have a rolling deadline and must be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the scheduled residency.

“The Division is pleased to introduce this funding priority,“ says Division Director Paul Weagraff, “which aligns with Governor Carney’s Executive Order #24, signed in 2018, making Delaware a trauma-informed state.”

The goal of this Executive Order is to help mitigate the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and build resilience in children, adults and communities.

ACEs can include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; physical or emotional neglect; household dysfunction, including substance abuse, untreated mental illness, or incarceration of a household member; domestic violence; and separation/divorce involving household members.

“We have children and families in Delaware who are affected by trauma in their lives, and we need to do everything we can to support them,” said Governor John Carney. “Addressing these issues as a community will help Delaware become a stronger and healthier state.”

Below are two of the Division’s grant programs that are eligible for this funding priority. Please visit arts.delaware.gov/grant-overview/ to access the full guidelines for each program and a description of the grant review process.

Grant for Delaware Community-Based Organizations (CBOs):

Project Support – support of arts programs provided by CBOs that assist in the growth of a vibrant cultural environment by encouraging the continued development of arts activities in communities throughout the state. College and university projects must be non-credit and serve the general community. Deadline March 2, 2020.

Grant Contact: Kathleen Dinsmore, 302-577-8287

Read guidelines

Grant for Delaware Schools and School Districts:

Artist Residency – grants for residencies with visual, literary, performing or media artists working with students in the classroom or in professional development workshops with teachers. Rolling deadline.

Grant Contact: Sheila Dean Ross, 302-577-8286

Read guidelines

About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278. Image: 2019 Award Winners exhibition at the Biggs Museum. Paintings by Geraldo Gonzalez, 2019 Established Professional, Folks Arts: painting

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing
302-577-8280, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney Announces Statewide Partnership at Trauma Awareness Month Kickoff

First Lady also announces first Compassionate Champion Award winners  

DOVER, Del. – At a kickoff event for Trauma Awareness Month in Delaware, First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney today announced the launch of a new, growing statewide partnership for trauma-informed care to help elevate stories of the work of leaders in trauma-informed practices and approaches across the state called Trauma Informed Delaware. The goal of the statewide public-private-nonprofit coalition is to coordinate a sustainable system that advances resilience through community-based awareness, trauma prevention, and early intervention.

“Trauma-informed care is a pre-requisite to any effective strength-based strategy,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “Progress starts when a critical mass of people learn and listen, when we recognize – down to our bone marrow – that these are our children, our veterans, our neighbors, and that we are all in this building-the-future business together. Thank you to the all of the people who have been leading trauma-informed work for many years, and to everyone who will be participating in Trauma Awareness Month events.”

“Trauma-informed care is real,” said Tony Allen, Executive Vice President and Provost at Delaware State University, which hosted Wednesday’s kickoff event. “When it is present, it goes to the very heart of practitioners knowing both their clients and themselves, and having a clear belief in the power of Ubuntu – I am because WE are. That is not a warm and fuzzy principle or an interesting catch phrase. It is a guiding principle for anyone of us – teachers, social workers, therapists, law enforcement officers, health care professionals — who work with fellow citizens who face unending challenges that place their mental, physical or spiritual health in peril. At Delaware State University, we are committed to building a cadre of healing professionals across any number of disciplines that understand Ubuntu and put it into practice in everything they do for their profession and their community.”

“Our educators know first-hand that factors outside of the classroom impact how their students learn inside of the classroom, we have been hearing this for years. The creation of this statewide partnership and Trauma Awareness Month are an important first step towards making Delaware trauma-informed,” said Stephanie Ingram, President of the Delaware State Education Association. “We are thankful to have the support of Governor Carney and Secretary Bunting in facing these challenges and helping our students find pathways to resilience.”

Trauma Informed Delaware at www.traumainformedde.org will support streamlined requests for trainings, host collaborative convening opportunities, promote partners and events from across the state, and offer those supports and other forms of assistance through promotion of and advocacy for:

  • Access to quality behavioral and integrated health care.
  • Strength-based services for youth and adults.
  • Education for providers and the community.

Wednesday’s kickoff event was coordinated by Governor Carney’s Family Services Cabinet Council, which was charged with promoting Trauma Awareness Month as part of the Governor’s Executive Order 24. The Council also created an online calendar to share information with state employees, community partners, and members of the public on educational and professional development opportunities related to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and building resilience.

“At the Children’s Department, we know that many of our clients come to us with a history of trauma,” said Josette Manning, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families. “We also know that our staff, tasked with helping the most vulnerable children, also suffer trauma. Today, we all came together as a community to learn how we can become more trauma informed to better serve our children and families and how to take care of each other as we do it. We are looking forward to a month of activities focused on building resilience both inside and outside of our Department.”

“During the past year, more than 1,000 Department of Health and Social Services employees with the greatest level of direct client contact have been trained in a trauma-informed approach,” said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, and a board-certified family physician. “We are building a workforce that understands what trauma is, how it affects people across their lifespans, and the most effective ways that we can assess and meet our clients’ needs. Having a trauma-informed workforce is a critical step in supporting and promoting recovery for our clients who have experienced trauma so they can build resilience and learn to thrive in their communities.”

“Toxic stress in childhood can have a profound and lasting impact on the lifelong health and well-being of a child, well into adulthood. Early intervention is key to reducing this risk,” said Lee Pachter, DO, Medical Director, General Pediatrics at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. “Nemours is pleased to be part of a state-wide initiative bringing together experts in the field to help give our kids the resources they need to mitigate the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).”

During the day-long symposium at Delaware State University, the First Lady also announced the Compassionate Champion Award winners and presented a proclamation from Governor Carney. The honorees are:

  • Stephanie Sklodowski from Christiana Care and Christiana School District’s Newark High School Wellness Center.

  • Wilmington University College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Psychology Department.

  • Renée Beaman, Director of the Division of State Service Centers in the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS).

  • Division of State Services Centers in DHSS.

  • Georgetown Police Department.

  • Shue-Medill Middle School.

  • Smyrna School District.

  • Mount Pleasant Elementary School.

  • Wendy Turner from Brandywine School District.

  • Ryan Palmer from Caesar Rodney School District.

  • Collaborative Partnership to promote trauma-informed care approaches, including United Way of Delaware, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Education and the Wilmington Community Advisory Council.

The symposium featured an interactive panel moderated by DHSS Secretary Walker and breakout sessions on the neuroscience of stress, navigating trauma with boys of color, mindfulness and a screening of the film, “Broken Places.” Keynote speakers Heather Forbes, LCSW and author of “Help for Billy,” talked about understanding challenging and difficult behaviors, and Dr. Abdul-Malik Muhammad, Ed.D, a trauma-informed care leader in Delaware, addressed the collective power to heal.

The event was sponsored by the Delaware State Education Association, made possible through a grant from National Education Association, and co-sponsored by Trauma Matters Delaware, Nemours, Wilmington University and Delaware State University.

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Delaware continues focus on trauma-informed practices

This story is featured in the Delaware Department of Education’s January Take Note eNewsletter. For more information on the great things happening in schools across Delaware, sign up to receive Take Note: Education in the First State at http://www.doe.k12.de.us/takenote.

School psychologist Ryan Palmer believes that shifting our mindsets to better serve students and communities who have experienced trauma is difficult.

“It is also invigorating and enlightening, and I cannot recommend it enough,” Palmer said.

Palmer, who works at Caesar Rodney School District’s Kent County Intensive Learning Center (ILC) and Simpson (W.B.) Elementary School, recently attended one of the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) training sessions on childhood trauma. He recognizes that mental health awareness is on the rise in Delaware – especially its effects on public education – and is encouraged by this new focus.

“Through understanding the underlying trauma that roots itself in our communities, we not only better understand how to intervene and support our students, but we can start learning how to recognize the systemic, cyclical impact of trauma on the families we work with and the communities we serve,” Palmer said.

Agencies and organizations throughout the country have been looking deeper at the effects of childhood trauma and toxic stress and how it continues to impact so many facets of our lives – from social relationships and problem-solving to mental health, education, community safety and more.

Over the past three years, more than 7,000 Delaware educators have participated in professional development opportunities around trauma, including book studies, workshops, strategic planning and the multi-district Compassionate Schools Teacher Test Lab. So far this year, more than 400 educators have engaged in free DDOE training to better understanding why adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are so threatening and how they rewire the brain.

“By recognizing ACEs and the effect of childhood trauma on behavior, we can help lessen the impact of trauma that exists for many of our students,” said Secretary of Education Susan Bunting. “Our focus is also on making sure that the systems in place in our classrooms and schools do not create additional trauma but instead help build resilience in children, families and communities.”

Researchers have concluded that ACEs can contribute to significant learning and health issues for children and adults. Examples of ACEs include experiencing or witnessing abuse, divorce, substance abuse, incarceration, violence, or the death of a loved one.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) links ACEs to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential and early death. The CDC also states that as the number of ACEs increases, so do the risks for these damaging outcomes.

“All behavior is a form of communication,” said Dorrell Green, Director of Delaware’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. “By arming educators with a better understanding of how to support students as they exhibit negative behaviors, students have more opportunities to focus on succeeding in the classroom.”

The use of trauma-informed practices in Delaware classrooms is an idea repeatedly promoted by Delaware’s Compassionate Schools Learning Collaborative and subsequently the state’s Compassionate Connections Partnership (CCP), of which the department is a member. CCP is a multi-year project focused on addressing childhood trauma in Wilmington city schools.

Delaware’s Project LAUNCH and Delaware READ, formerly the Moving the Needle Project, are also providing training on trauma-informed practices to early learning professionals in high-risk and disadvantaged communities, starting in Wilmington. These collaborative projects have brought trainings to community centers, out-of-school networks, and other youth-serving agencies and leaders.

In October, Governor John Carney signed Executive Order No. 24 to make Delaware a trauma-informed state. This order provides direction for the Family Services Cabinet Council to help mitigate the impact of ACEs and build resilience in children, adults and communities. It also directs state agencies that provide services for children and adults to integrate trauma-informed best practices.

DDOE’s most-recent trauma-informed training helps attendees understand, recognize and respond to the effects of all types of trauma. It teaches trauma-informed practices, which provide educators a set of strategies that help trauma survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.

Because educators often experience secondary stress when dealing with students impacted by trauma, Delaware’s trauma-informed practices training additionally includes a focus on self-care strategies. Educators also receive coaching and support on how to implement trauma-sensitive strategies throughout their schools.

“Since trauma and toxic stress tend to occur in relationships, they must be healed in relationships. Many of our strategies to build resilience focus on creating safe and supportive school environments where there are strong relationships, high levels of selfregulation, and opportunities to practice responsibility through rigorous problem-solving and restorative practices,” said Teri Lawler, former school psychologist and DDOE’s education associate for trauma-informed practices and social and emotional learning.

DDOE is the first state agency to invest in a position focused on building robust systems, policies, and practices to mitigate trauma. Lawler works in the department’s Office of Innovation and Improvement.

DDOE’s December and January trainings were highly rated by those in attendance. Based on the book “Fostering Resilient Learners” by Pete Hall and Kristin Souers, the training allowed attendees to deepen their understanding of key vocabulary and research around childhood trauma and the effect of toxic stress on brain development.

“We believe quite strongly that every teacher, every educator – indeed, everyone who works or is around kids in any capacity – has a strong foundation in trauma-invested practices,” Hall said. “This isn’t magic, though it’s magical. We advocate bringing the art of being HUMAN back to education.”

District and school personnel are invited to register for another opportunity to benefit from a free one-day training session on childhood trauma on Friday, Feb. 22 or Saturday, Feb. 23 at Wilmington University’s Doberstein Admissions Center. Register for PDMS course #27808, section #50254 (Feb. 22) or section #50255 (Feb. 23).

Media Contact:  Alison May, alison.may@doe.k12.de.us, 302-735-4006