The landmark research on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is more than 20 years old and while awareness of the public health crisis it exposes has increased; the systematic, data driven, community responses needed to address the root causes is sorely lacking. The original edition of Anna Age Eight clearly laid out what communities must due to prevent the trauma to our children. The five survival services and five thriving services outlined in this book are not controversial. Most would agree that healthy communities have services that protect as well as nurture our youth. What has been lacking is the political will, vision, and financial backing to reimagine our communities.
After reading this book and a first-hand experience with the level of trauma my high school students had been exposed to, I felt a need to act. As a state Senator, I introduced and got passed a bill and funding for “The Anna Age Eight Institute, the first of its kind institute dedicated to building strong resilient communities to eliminate the kinds of trauma that lead to ACEs.
This second edition is a must read for lawmakers, teachers, social workers, and community influencers. It will change how you view the ACEs crisis from helping children and adults who have experienced ACEs, which is important, to looking for how to build communities that prevent the trauma in the first place. Anna Age Eight, and the follow-up book, 100% for Every Child will map the way for communities. We can take action to prevent trauma and protect children. This book shows the way.