Worcester HEARS is changing school environments to help children thrive in a complex and ever changing world. Worcester HEARS brings together advances in brain science, child development, and best practices to address childhood adversity in our complex society. We are creating school environments that support children’s health, social and emotional development, and academic success. Worcester HEARS has launched in five schools located in Worcester, Massachusetts: Rice Square Elementary, Grafton Street Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, City View Elementary, and Worcester East Middle School. The central partners of the Worcester HEARS project are: The Worcester Public Schools, The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, and the Worcester Education Collaborative, and many other participating organizations.
- The Worcester HEARS Project engages parents and families, and provide them with training to become more involved and empowered in their schools. The Worcester Education Collaborative is providing workshops and information sessions for parents focused on the Worcester HEARS project, and on building partnerships with their public schools.
- The Worcester HEARS project has provided graduate courses through Lesley University for a group of teachers from each school to become school leaders, and to shape the necessary changes to each school environment.
- The Worcester HEARS project will identify positive changes to each school environment by using an organizational tool, the Flexible Framework.
- The Worcester HEARS project will work closely with Clark University and Worcester behavioral health providers to create a Community of Practice to find a more efficient referral process for behavioral and mental health services.
- The Worcester HEARS project has provided provide all Worcester HEARS teachers with training in mindfulness education through the MindUP program, funded through the Daniels Foundation.
- The Worcester HEARS project has reopened the School Based Health Center at Worcester East Middle School with Family Health Center of Worcester to provide medical and behavioral health services for all students.
- The Worcester HEARS Project provides three behavioral health staff to support all five of the schools.