NewsLocal NewsYour Voice


KC Healthy Kids provides trauma-informed training to KCPL librarians, staff

Screenshot 2024-06-06 at 4.28.39 PM.png
Posted at 5:36 PM, Jun 06, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local nonprofit called KC Healthy Kids is providing trauma-informed training for librarians and staff at Kansas City Public Library.

Thanks to a grant by Kansas City, Missouri, 60 members will start their 15-hour training next week and go through July and August.

Screenshot 2024-06-06 at 4.31.22 PM.png

“It really helps prepare our staff to meet the public where they are, to be more empathetic towards the public and the things that they are experiencing,” said April Roy, director of employee success at KCPL.

School may be out for summer, but the learning always continues at the Kansas City Public Library locations.

Roy says when families come in, they bring the outside world with them. Not only their excitement for learning, but also the stresses and influences of life.

“A climate of not always being civil to each other, mental illness is on the rise, our unhoused population is growing... all of those things, and as that happens, we feel that in the library,” Roy said.

Screenshot 2024-06-06 at 4.28.01 PM.png

Dr. Nancy Osborn with KC Healthy Kids will be leading the staff through the training.

She says there are lot of ways that people are impacted by trauma, and as more people understand this and how those traumas may manifest, the more people are able to stay calm and extend compassion.

“And those kind of compassionate responses lead to less escalation and certainly less re-traumatization," Osborn said. “If we can look at them and say, 'I wonder what’s happened in their past to lead to this behavior?'”

Through the training, employees will learn tools for emotional regulation, sensory needs and the ability to spot trauma responses.

“It’s my impression that they just would like to have more specific skills, and so we’re going to spend a good deal of time doing some role play, having them let us know what kind of situations they come against,” Osborn said.

The training has shown great success in other childcare organizations that have already implemented their learning.

Screenshot 2024-06-06 at 4.28.10 PM.png

“I think that it helps the staff to be able to manage their emotions and also give strategies to the students,” said Demetria Spencer, owner of Delightful Learning Center.

Her and her staff went through the training last fall through April of this year.

At the heart of this training is a perspective shift more than anything, and a chance to offer human connection.

"Can we advocate for people; can we be more empathetic and passionate?” Roy said.