Navigating gun violence in the lives of young children

Washington, D.C. — Yasmina Vinci, executive director of NHSA, issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

A statement at a time like this—over so much sorrow, trauma, and profound loss—feels truly inadequate. Although no words can alleviate the tremendous grief the families, educators, and staff of the Robb Elementary School community are experiencing, NHSA conveys our sincerest condolences to those impacted by this horrific, numbing, and senseless act of gun violence.

In this heartbreaking moment, the Head Start community needs accurate information and practical guidance for helping children and families through this impossible time. Tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. ET, NHSA will host the Chief Science Officer of the Bezos Family and Founder of Mind in the Making Ellen Galinsky for a discussion about trauma and young children. Join us to discuss the effects of trauma on the brain and learning, how to talk to children and families about difficult topics, and how to care for your own wellbeing.

We mourn deeply for Uvalde—which has heartbreakingly been added to the list alongside Buffalo, Parkland, Newtown, and far too many other tragedies—and we cannot accept a reality in which our children aren’t safe in their communities. It is my profound hope that the pain we are feeling today leads to an outpouring of outrage and support, which brings both strength to the survivors and desperately needed change to our country.

About NHSA

The National Head Start Association is committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 270,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grant recipients in the United States. ••• Media Contact: Emily Wagner, Director of Communications, media@nhsa.org

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