“There (are) a lot of ways kids can be exposed to traumatic events, which impact their overall educational wellness, which can impact their educational outcomes.”
Studies have shown that 80 percent of children have experienced some type of adverse childhood experience – potentially a traumatic event in their families such as a parent abusing drugs or the death of a parent. Foster youth often face additional and dramatic traumas. And those experiences can play out in classrooms in ways that educators may not understand.
UNC School of Education assistant professor Robert Martinez, who himself spent part of his childhood in the foster care, collaborates with colleagues at the School of Medicine, the School of Social Work and UNC-Greensboro to better inform classroom practices and provide more effective emotion support for foster youth — ultimately leading to more positive educational outcomes.
Martinez is a recipient of the Felix Harvey Award, which was endowed with a $2 million commitment in 2007 to honor the late C. Felix Harvey, a 1943 Carolina graduate.