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Poverty / Trauma Informed

Poverty and Trauma-Informed Education

The brain research is clear. Growing up in poverty or experiencing trauma will significantly affect a child’s behavior and academic performance, impacting their mindset for change and success.

A systemic approach for change involves a broad understanding of the myths and realities of poverty and trauma. This approach must include students, families, and community members in a long term solution.

We’re committed to finding ways to be part of that solution.

How can you help?

  • Contact Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz to fInd out how you can schedule our interactive Poverty Simulation for educators and community members.
  • Browse a list of upcoming learning opportunities.
  • Attend one of our conferences or seminars


Resilience Now
Healing Collective Trauma in the Time of COVID-19
July 16-17, 2020

ESSDACK is excited to host a national virtual conference focusing on best practices for addressing the impact of trauma and poverty on our schools and communities. Get the latest information about conference registration, times, and session descriptions at the Resilience Now page.

Featured Speakers

Jim Sporleder is coming back to Resilience Now with a deep background in building trauma informed schools and speaking. Jim retired in 2014 as principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA. Under Jim’s leadership, Lincoln High School became a “Trauma Informed” 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. These dramatic changes led to the filming of the documentary, Paper Tigers, which tells the story of Lincoln High School and the changes that Jim helped to facilitate. 

jim sporleder

Carmen Zeisler is a Learning Consultant and Coach focusing on redesigning education in the ESSDACK Learning Centers through a Project-Based Learning approach as well as collaborating with teachers on Trauma-Informed practices. She loves working with teachers on building a reading culture at their school along with helping teachers see how they can integrate picture books through science and social studies.

Carmen Zeisler


‚ÄčContact one of our consultants to schedule a customized learning opportunity:

Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz
Kevin Honeycutt
Ginger Lewman
Katie Perez
Carmen Zeisler