Column: The right resources can help Appalachian kids learn despite trauma

Cara Dingus Brook Dispatch

As ground zero for one of our nation’s health crises, the opioid epidemic, Appalachia has an overdose mortality rate 46% higher than the national average. Behind this statistic is an outsized number of children caught in situations of chronic stress. When these children enter the classroom, their trauma becomes an invisible barrier to learning.  

First Book’s recent study with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, “Educational Barriers and Solutions,” sought the perspective of Appalachian educators to better understand the type of support educators need in order to help children who are experiencing trauma.