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News and Opinion Sep 16, 2019

Pioneering Work by Pamela Cantor, M.D. Highlighted in The Arizona Republic

Elizabeth Day, center, and fellow Higley High school

(Photo: Cheryl Evans/The Republic)

An op-ed by Phil Boas of The Arizona Republic shines a light on Turnaround for Children Founder and Senior Science Advisor Pamela Cantor, M.D. and her efforts to close the achievement gap by addressing the effects the context of trauma has on child development.

In the piece, Boas recalls a powerful anecdote Dr. Cantor shared on a recent episode of the Getting Smart podcast about how her study on the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on public school children shifted the focus of her work and led to the founding of Turnaround.

“We expected the greatest intensity of symptoms in Ground Zero and they weren’t,” she told the Getting Smart podcast in August. “They were in communities and schools of deepest poverty.

“I remember vividly going into a first-grade class in an elementary school in the South Bronx and a little boy coming up to me with a drawing – his teacher had asked the kids to do drawings about 9/11.”

“His drawing had these two little boxes in the corner with smoke coming out, and in the foreground were two stick-figured boys with guns pointed at each other. And the message in the drawing was ‘I’m scared to come to school every day and 9/11 is very far away.”

Boas ends his piece with a call to action for others to join Dr. Cantor in helping to provide the “leveling promise of education to all of our children.”

Read the full op-ed here.