The first “Movies with a Purpose” event was held Feb. 13 at Big Springs Elementary School with the goal of increasing community knowledge about the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, working together to become a trauma informed county, and learning about best practices to build resiliency within the community, families, parents and caregivers, as stated in a press release.

It was presented by HUB Communities Family Resource Center, First 5 Siskiyou Children and Families Commission and the Siskiyou Parenting Collaborative primary partners including Domestic Violence and Crisis Center and Siskiyou County Health and Human Services Agency.

Movies with a Purpose was a concept presented by First 5 Siskiyou Children and Families Commissioner Dr. Robert Hughes, whose untimely passing in Spring 2017 had a great impact on all who knew him, according to the release from First 5 Siskiyou. “To honor Dr. Hughes and his advocacy for trauma free childhood, we are implementing his vision. Trauma and its effects on families and communities is preventable. Through education and strategies in building resilient children and communities, we can help offset the impact of trauma on Siskiyou County children, families and communities.”

First 5 Siskiyous believes “Strong families and communities leads to better outcomes for our children and society. Our goal is to collaborate with everyone interested in working together to support success for all children and families in our county.”

District 3 County Supervisor and First 5 Commissioner Michael Kobseff presented a certificate of appreciation to Superintendent/Principal Tag Pimentel for the commitment to becoming a trauma informed school. 

Kobseff said, “I am committed to advocating for policies that support healthy child development. Children are our most precious resources. Successful parenting and positive experiences for children in school and community is key to our long term economic and social vitality.”

The event featured an informative video documentary from Dr. Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D. about the impact of exposure to violence and a child’s developing brain. Dr. Perry is an internationally-recognized authority on children in crisis and is an American psychiatrist. He is currently the Senior Fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Tex., and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Ill. He has also provided trainings in Siskiyou County.

The event included discussion with families, educators, social workers and community advocates about ways to increase community awareness and compassion about working with children and families with difficult beginnings.

First 5 says “community partners are working to host a menu of documentaries to increase public awareness about childhood adversities and its impact on communities. Movies with a Purpose events provide opportunities for those in attendance to pioneer efforts towards early intervention and prevention of adverse childhood experiences.”

The next Movies with a Purpose events are scheduled for Feb. 27 at the Mt. Shasta Library from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and at Scott Valley Jr. High School on March 7 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The free events are designed for everyone – community leaders, families, educators, health care and social service providers, and citizens who are interested in the wellbeing of children and adults.

First 5 Siskiyous expressed appreciation to Big Springs School for hosting the first Movies with a Purpose event. “Our gratitude goes out to all the partnership organizations from Siskiyou County Health and Human Services - Adult and Children's Services, Siskiyou Domestic Violence and Crisis Center, WIC, SNAP-ED, CA Highway Patrol and the HUB Family Resource Center for their partnership to increase community education about the impact of adverse childhood experiences and way to support all children and families. Thanks to the families who participated in the event and shared their valuable perspective.”