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Local teachers learn hands-on activities to include students facing emotional trauma

Local teachers learn hands-on activities to include students facing emotional trauma

YAKIMA VALLEY, Wash. - A new training offered here in Yakima is teaching educators how they can connect with students facing emotional trauma.

More than 40 teachers throughout the Yakima Valley participated in a two day training. Educational Service District (ESD) 105 said they have been working for over a year to bring this training to teachers here in the valley and this is the first time it is offered in the Pacific Northwest.

ESD 105 Early Learning Coordinator Kathy Lenihan said all kids have different experiences, so teachers need to adapt.

"So what we're looking for is having an opportunity to bring some joy and hope back into these children's life through play," Lenihan said. "That will help them, prepare them to do a better job in their academics."

Zillah Preschool Teacher Nancy Sealock took part in the training. She said when she sees her students coming to school with emotional challenges it can impact their learning.

"Then you're gonna see an increase in behavior, difficulty paying attention," Sealock said. "A lot of times too these students are the ones that have a hard time making friends."

She said she hopes to bring these activities back to her classroom and help all her students feel important and safe.

Lenihan said she is glad to finally see this training brought to the valley because she sees more and more students needing this support every year.

"Over the years we've seen a definite increase in these types of behaviors in our classrooms," she said. "I think it has to do a lot with what our society is like today and so we really need to have more tools in our toolboxes as teachers in order to be able to better serve the needs of our students."

ESD said teachers get certified for taking the training and can begin practicing the activities in their classrooms.

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