Infusing Trauma-Informed Practices into Early Childhood Education
Infusing Trauma-Informed Practices into Early Childhood Education

Building resources for teachers that support the needs and help facilitate the healing process of young children who have experienced trauma.


STRIVE (Supportive Trauma Interventions for Educators) was developed through a collaborative partnership between Boston Medical Center Child-Witness to Violence Project, Boston Public Schools, and Vital Village Network. STRIVE aims to improve student success by improving the quality of teacher-student interactions using an evidence-based, trauma-informed model. STRIVE was designed in response to the ideas, requests, and concerns raised by educators, parents and administrators in several Boston Public Schools. The model is designed to be sustainable by developing leadership and expertise within schools.

Trauma-Informed Practices

STRIVE aims to help schools and early education systems of care increase their capacity to identify, respond to, and optimally support the unique needs of young children who have been impacted by trauma exposure. STRIVE works on several levels to build resiliency of students by supporting educators and caregivers, improving classroom environments, and developing trauma-sensitive school systems connected to community-based resources:

  • First, building the capacity of teachersto support students by enhancing their understanding of trauma, and its impact on learning and behavior and use this knowledge to optimize classroom environments.
  • Next, promoting trauma-understanding and socio-emotional awareness of caregivers and parents through parent workshops and a backpack toolkit for the home.
  • Finally, mobilizing community-based resources and health services to create a comprehensive network of services for children and families connected to the school system and fostering local leadership trajectories to sustain trauma-sensitive approaches beyond the tenure of the intervention.


STRIVE uses a multidisciplinary, cross-sector network to build the capacity of supportive adults (parents, caregivers, educators, etc.) to address the needs of children exposed to trauma. Toward that end our three goals are:

  1. To improve socio-emotional regulation for children and improve student-teacher interactions
  2. To integrate a cultural lens that acknowledges inequities in exposure to adverse childhood experiences, in order to create inclusive learning environments for students
  3. To promote trauma-sensitive school environments by leveraging existing data and coordinating partnerships to build institutional capacity of public schools that serve minority and disadvantaged youth
To achieve these goals, we aim to engage educators and community residents in leading, designing, and improving trauma-informed, supportive school atmospheres.


  • We have trained over 200 BPS educators, over 20 BPS Schools, reaching an estimated 2,000 students

  • Read about the STRIVE Framework for Trauma Sensitive Schools and preliminary results HERE


  • Single-day Training: Overview of trauma within the school context. Focus areas: neurobiology, attachment theory, secondary trauma, and race, culture, & oppression.
  • Two-day Educator Workshop: 16 hour, intensive training which includes a comprehensive overview of trauma and applied classroom strategies for educators.
  • Full STRIVE Model: A whole-school approach which includes professional development trainings, consultations, and follow-ups. Minimum 1 year partnership commitment from institution required. 


  • Child Witness to Violence Project

  • Boston Public Schools (BPS)

  • Succeed Boston (formerly the Counseling Intervention Center) at BPS

  • Children's Services of Roxbury Preschool

Project Leads

  • Neena McConnico, PhD, LMHC 

  • Courtney Bailey, LICSW

Request and Learn about Partnering with STRIVE


Trauma-Informed Care for Young Children Grant Program

As a recipient of the Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office's Trauma-Informed Care for Young Children Grant Program, STRIVE will provide training and consultation to early childhood providers in all 14 counties across Massachusetts. The trainings, targeted for early childhood providers and administrators, will build capacity to foster resiliency and address children’s needs. STRIVE will also partner with Ellis Memorial, a South End-based early education program, to develop an intensive learning community. 

Trauma 101 Online Workshops
Summer 2020 Massachusetts-Wide
July 11th, 9:30-12:30pm, REGISTER HERE
July 17th, 9:30-12:30pm, REGISTER HERE
August 7th, 9:30-12:30pm, REGISTER HERE

Questions/Contact: Desiree Hartman,, 617-414-3640

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