Supporting Developing Readers Who Have Experienced Compounded Trauma

Presented by Dr. Karyn Allee-Herndon, Dr. Annemarie Kaczmarczyk & Dr. Wynnetta Scott-Simmons

During our session, we will draw on our combined research and experiences teaching to share the multiple ways our students can experience traumas, both outside of and within schools. We will also share how these traumas have an impact on the whole child including neurologically, cognitively, affectively, and behaviorally. We will conclude with practical strategies to engage traumatized learners in literacy learning with specific recommendations for resources and instructional approaches.

Conference registration required.


Session Objectives

  • Participants will understand the various ways systems of oppression inflict trauma on young learners.
  • Participants will learn about ways schools can inflict further trauma on students.
  • Participants will learn how trauma affects children and behavioral markers of trauma.
  • Participants will learn specific strategies to support traumatized children's literacy learning.

More about the speakers

Karyn Allee-Herndon earned a PhD in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida (BAE '93 & MEd '94 in Elementary Education/ECE from the University of Florida EdS '09 in Educational Leadership from Stetson University). Dr. Allee-Herndon's professional experiences include teaching primary grades at high-need schools, working in a large urban district as a coach and PD facilitator, and working for three education companies to facilitate customized PD, support large-scale district implementations and school improvement efforts, to evaluate programs, and to develop early childhood curriculum. Dr. Allee-Herndon's responsibilities as an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at Mercer University include working primarily with elementary MAT initial teacher certification candidates and PhD students in the Curriculum & Instruction track. Currently, her primary research focuses on how poverty affects cognitive development, executive function/self-regulation as predictors of school readiness and achievement, and instructional strategies (including play and physical activity) to reduce academic achievement gaps.

Dr. Annemarie Kaczmarczyk is an Assistant Professor of Childhood Education. Her courses taught at the collegiate level focus on enhancing preservice teachers' knowledge of working with culturally and linguistically diverse learners, as well as teaching strategies and classroom management. Dr. Kaczmarczyk has a passion for integrating picture books and other literature across content areas to discuss issues related to social justice and advocacy. She has co-published several journal articles related to using literature to engage children in conversations around these topics. Dr. Kaczmarczyk's current research focuses on teacher preparation for culturally and linguistically diverse student populations, examinations of preservice teacher identity and understanding of critical issues in education, and how to aid preservice teachers in becoming advocates for their students.

Wynnetta Scott-Simmons

Wynnetta Scott-Simmons is a Professor in the Departments of Graduate Teacher Education and Curriculum and Instruction in the Tift College of Education at Mercer University. She was the 2019 recipient of the Tift College’s Kathryn Futral Award for Outstanding Teaching. Dr. Scott-Simmons works from a strong belief that teacher educators have a powerful responsibility and ability to touch the future by supporting pre-service and in-service teachers in the development of their unique, purpose-filled, and passionate teacher identities. Using the Sankofian theory of looking back on their individual life and literacy lineages, she encourages students to move forward in their ability to build their personal, pedagogical bridges between the art and science of teaching.