PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Saturday, August 11, 2012

Children’s Center Offers Nationally Recognized Training

Storyteller Children’s Center, a preschool for homeless and at-risk children, will host a three-day training seminar with the nationally recognized Brazelton Touchpoints Center for the Storyteller staff and its partners in the community.

Founded by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, a well-known and celebrated pediatrician, Touchpoints is a powerful approach to child development rooted in over 60 years of practice and research, which helps service providers better support the families they serve.

Storyteller serves vulnerable children and families that have suffered risk factors such as domestic violence, parental substance abuse, poverty, developmental delays, behavioral problems, and more. To make a meaningful impact in their lives, teachers must be well equipped to address the critical issues that these families face and be able to effectively communicate with them. “The Touchpoints framework is a perfect fit for our organization,” explains Storyteller Executive Director Terri Allison. “Touchpoints focuses on the relationship between the service providers and the parents, knowing that one of the most effective ways to improve the lives of children is to successfully engage their parents.”

Touchpoints training specifically helps early childhood educators identify and anticipate spurts and regressions in a child’s development, as this often increases anxiety in parents. “If we can prepare families to expect these regressions and to understand that they are all a part of normal childhood development, parents can learn to feel less stressed and more confident in their parenting abilities,” said Allison. “This can be especially crucial for at-risk families that are already feeling weary dealing with homelessness, food insecurity, volatile home situations, or other challenging issues.”

To be held Aug. 13-15, the seminar will include 21 hours of onsite training, comprised of role playing and applied problem solving, followed by six months of continued education and mentorship to ensure what is learned in the training is fully integrated into practice. Storyteller has invited staff from partner agencies such as CALM, Westside Thrive, and Transition House to attend as well. Once this training is complete, Storyteller will explore future steps in becoming an official Touchpoints Site, which would allow Storyteller staff to train others in the community on Touchpoints. There are over 130 Touchpoints Sites nationwide and 10,000 individuals have been trained, together serving more than 1 million families across the U.S. For more information about Storyteller or this training, please call 805-682-9585.

About Brazelton Touchpoints Center

Founded in 1996, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center promotes the healthy development of children through professional development, research and policy.

About Storyteller Children’s Center

Founded in 1988, Storyteller provides quality, tuition-free early childhood education for homeless and at-risk children in Santa Barbara County, as well as parent education and comprehensive support services for families.

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