Partnership for Resilience

Welcome to the IEA’s Partnership for Resilience, an effort of educators, doctors and social services, to identify students who come to school carrying a heavy weight from the outside world and finding ways to help them cope and succeed. The partnership is working to bring the message of trauma-informed education to school buildings and districts across Illinois.

Paper Tigers

Watch the trailer above and learn more about the film at

Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, Wash. was the last stop for students who struggled to fit in and succeed in traditional school settings. When principal Jim Sporleder took over, he changed the focus of the school to become trauma-informed – to identify students who were fighting battles outside the walls of the school building and to help them find the resources they need to succeed, to become resilient. It worked. Test scores skyrocketed. Graduation rates increased tremendously. The expulsion rate plummeted. Jamie Redford made a documentary film about the school’s success.

If you’re an IEA member interested in showing the Paper Tigers movie in your area and hosting a discussion afterward, please contact your region office. If you don’t know where your region office is, please contact IEA Connect ( or 844-IEA-1800).

Other Helpful Resources and Websites:

Partnership for Resilience website The Partnership for Resilience grew out of the”Southland Education and Health Initiative” a cross-sector effort to address childhood trauma, access to primary care and family engagement in the southern suburbs of Cook County, Illinois.

Partnership for Resilience 2016 Conference PresentationsOne-day conferences were held to provide participants with an introduction to childhood trauma and the emerging best practices schools are using to confront it.

Partnership for Resilience videos – Parts One and Two – A new series on TURN (Teacher Union Reform Network), highlights the emerging work of the Partnership for Resilience (formerly the Southland Initiative), which focuses on the damaging effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Dr. Marjorie Fujara’s Webinar – when students live in highly stressful or very traumatic conditions, their brains actually prevent them from learning. Instead, their minds operate in a “fight or flight” mentality at all times. But things can be done to help students calm their brains and open them up again to learning. As Dr. Fujara says, “It’s not rocket science, it’s brain science.”

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’ TED Talk – Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain.

Know Me, Know My Name – a free resource to help you find students that need positive adult connection and interaction. We know that these relationships help students succeed and are a good stair step to building a trauma-informed school environment.

Aces Too High – A website dedicated to identifying ACEs and resources for how to address the needs of students with high ACE scores.