‘Paper Tigers’ film screenings set for Cabell, Mason counties

September 26, 2018

HUNTINGTON — The Cabell County Family Resource Network (FRN), Cabell County Student Empowerment Team and Marshall University will host two screenings of the film “Paper Tigers” on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

“Paper Tigers” captures the pain, the danger, the beauty and the hopes of struggling teens — and the teachers armed with new science and fresh approaches that are changing their lives for the better.

The film will be shown in Cabell and Mason counties from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday

at Marshall University’s Memorial Student Center Room BE5 and MU’s Mid-Ohio Valley Center in Point Pleasant.

“The negative risk factors and toxic stress children face can have lasting impacts on their development and longterm health,” said Debra Bowyer, Cabell County FRN coordinator, in a news release. “However, the documentary highlights a ‘trauma-informed’ approach that the school used to help students overcome the adversities. The presence of one dependable and caring adult gave hope and made a difference.”

The event will start with the film and end with a discussion on how participants can implement strategies from the film.

Registration is required at bit.ly/papertigers_MU_registration. CEUs are available for West Virginia social work licensure.

According to the “Paper Tigers” website, more than two decades ago, two respected researchers — clinical physician Dr. Vincent Felitti and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist Robert Anda — published the game-changing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Study.

It revealed a troubling but irrefutable phenomenon: the more traumatic experiences the respondents had as children (such as physical and emotional abuse and neglect), the more likely they were to develop health problems later in life — problems such as cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure. There was also a troubling correlation between adverse childhood experiences and prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse, unprotected sex and poor diet.

The study also presents that the risk factors — behavioral as well as physiological — can be offset by the presence of one dependable and caring adult, such as a teacher.

Set within and around the campus of Lincoln Alternative High School in the rural community of Walla Walla, Washington, “Paper Tigers” asks the following questions: What does it mean to be a trauma-informed school? And how do you educate teens whose childhood experiences have left them with a brain and body ill-suited to learn? Against the harsh reality of truancy, poor grades, emotional pain and physical violence, answers begin to emerge.

The program is presented with financial assistance as a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Learn more about the film at kpjrfilms.co/paper-tigers. To learn more about the Cabell County Family Resource Network, visit www.cabellfrn.org.

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