Thank you to everyone who attended the de-escalation training with Ellis Amdur in April. If you missed it, you can read the review below, where you'll also find info on the college-recruiting app that sends messages to under-served youth, Siembra; the latest on how trauma affects health; and details on upcoming community events. Please feel free to forward this newsletter, and if this was forwarded to you, please subscribe online.
–The Bars to Bridges Team

Training Urges Self-Reflection to Sway Anger

School administrators, counselors, resource officers, and other Bars to Bridges (B2B) affiliates said they valued the skills learned at a recent B2B-hosted de-escalation training. Attendees totaled at 65.

Ellis Amdur, Edgework founder and renowned psychotherapist who specializes in crisis intervention, led the training at the main Multnomah Education Service District building in Portland on April 27. The training unpacked the work in Amdur's book, Grace Under Fire.

Amdur correlated foundational knowledge to the de-escalation techniques presented and suggested people use self-awareness strategies to be more in tune with others who catapult into angry or enraged states. Exercises included memorizing and reflecting on personal hot-button issues, paying attention to invisible physiological reactions to stress, and practicing circular breathing.

"The presenter was engaging and the content was presented and explained in a way that was easy to digest and see its practicality," stated David Douglas High School Assistant Principal Joe Talley.

Please check the forthcoming B2B newsletters for information on the return of Amdur and other future training opportunities. View more snapshots of the event on the B2B Flickr page.

Siembra, an app that sends messages to "low-income, first-generation, and racial and ethnic minority high-schoolers," encourages them to pursue college, says The Hechinger Report.

The app's website links to research and data that illustrates how to reach more Latino/Hispanic students. The theory is that with more nudging, these students will stay in school and pursue post-secondary education. Siembra cites successful research outcomes that show consistent prompting pushes high-school students to apply to college and stay in college.

The app offers free mobile demos to both school officials and students by emailing:

Visit the official Siembra website for more information.

Media of the Month

Childhood trauma can lead to long-lasting health problems

Resilience may be the answer to recovering from youth stresses

Research reveals physical and mental health issues directly link to childhood trauma, according to this article in the Bend Bulletin.

“'It’s been the iceberg issue in pediatrics and really in health care for a long time,' said Dr. Darin Vaughan, a pediatrician with Mosaic Medical in Bend. 'The problem is enormous, and it has such a long term impact on an individual’s health and the generational health of families and parents. The impact of adverse childhood events has ripples for the rest of folks’ lives.'"
Read the rest of "Childhood trauma can lead to long-lasting health problems," on the Bend Bulletin website.


B2B supports students across Oregon in Benton, Clackamas, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

Oregon Historical Society Events

Family Saturday: African Americans in Oregon
Saturday, May 19; 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Oregon Historical Society
1200 Southwest Park Avenue, Portland

Families are invited to engage in the history of the Civil Rights Movement through hands-on, art-based activities.

Celebrate History and Make a Difference Now!
Saturday, June 9; 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Oregon Historical Society
1200 Southwest Park Avenue, Portland

Racing To Change exhibit closing celebration featuring presentations by local community organizations.

All events listed are free and open to the public.

As grantees of the African American, Black Student Success Plan/House Bill 2016 grant, Bars to Bridges supports African American, Black and Multi-race students as they transition from incarceration to home-school settings. Please visit  the B2B website for more information.
Copyright © 2017 Bars to Bridges, All rights reserved.

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