The generous $1 million grant from the Campbell Foundation comes at a crucial time for our school community, a time when we must all work to help DPS become a trauma-informed district. This gift not only brings hope for a better future by accelerating the work, it also provides an incredible opportunity to spotlight the importance of trauma-informed practices.

The reality is that all of us are likely to experience a traumatic event in the course of life—and some at a very early age. These events can range from a single, isolated event such as a car accident, moving to a new home, or losing someone we love, to witnessing ongoing abuse of a loved one, or being emotionally or physically neglected. It is our individual and collective ability to bounce back from adversity that makes us prevail. As adults, we have the power in our hands through unconditional love and increased understanding to provide our students with a safer and more understanding environment where they can thrive both personally and academically.

Next month on October 16, we invite you to join us and purchase your ticket here for our first ever documentary viewing of Paper Tigers. The event, Films for the Future: Raising the Curtain on Trauma-Informed Practices in DPS, is sure to inspire and allow for meaningful discussions led by an expert panel. Join me in this journey as we (I) learn about this work.

As I watched this documentary with my team for the first time earlier this month, my heart sank. The stories illustrated in this documentary are the ones I see in our schools, and more than ever, I reaffirm that our work must never stop. We must love our students and if we start with this premise there is so much that we can do. Hallett Academy Principal Dominique Jefferson said, “We give children the grace to make mistakes and try again.” When those mistakes happen, Dominique said, “We love children back into learning. We restore them back to a place where they feel safe and included and seen and heard.”

The film reminded me of the power of having one caring adult in a student’s life. It reminded me of stories our students have shared at our Achieve Gala, when the common denominator is recalling an educator that was that person for them. If we become more knowledgeable about the impact of trauma and if we love our students deeply, we (you) can be that one person that can transform a student’s life. Now, pause and think about the collective power of all of us working to be one positive role model for a student and “loving them back into learning.”

It is when we come together as a community with open hearts and minds that our students and city can thrive.

Today and always for OUR kids,

Verónica Figoli
President & CEO
Denver Public Schools Foundation

P.S – If you are unable to attend, please consider sponsoring someone who might benefit from attending. Please note in the comments who you would like to receive your ticket.