Newton, NJ

Experts Discuss Childhood Trauma, Strategies for Healing

Project Self-Sufficiency
Project Self-Sufficiency will host a virtual workshop about adverse childhood experiences.Project Self-Sufficiency

The public is invited to a virtual, interactive workshop about building self-healing communities in the aftermath of trauma, Monday, December 6th, 5:30 p.m. presented by Project Self-Sufficiency. The gathering is the next installment of the Pizza & PACEs series hosted by the non-profit agency which is designed to facilitate the conversation about issues surrounding Positive & Adverse Childhood Experiences (PACEs). Experts from the New Jersey Office of Resilience will address how the brain adapts to traumatic experiences, the genetic impact of trauma across generations, health and social problems caused by trauma, and methods communities can use to institute positive change. Featured speakers will include New Jersey Office of Resilience Executive Director David Ellis, Supervisor Kenneth Fowlkes, and Youth Community Navigator Timothy Woody. The presentation is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Interested attendees are invited to call the agency to register and receive log-in details.

Adverse childhood experiences are widely recognized as falling into three distinct categories, abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Examples of negative behavior said to result from Adverse Childhood Experiences include smoking, alcoholism, drug use, absenteeism, and lack of physical activity. These behaviors can cause a cascade of physical and mental health problems, from diabetes to cancer to suicidal thoughts. It is estimated that approximately 67% of the population has experienced at least one adverse childhood experience.

The new Pizza & PACEs sessions build on the work already underway at Project Self-Sufficiency. Trauma experts and guest speakers address the impact of adverse childhood experiences on social, emotional, and cognitive development, and offer tips and strategies for building resiliency at regularly scheduled workshops. The agency’s PACEs program brings together professionals, providers, and parents who are committed to increasing awareness of the impact of childhood trauma on juvenile development, future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity.

The Pizza & PACEs program at Project Self-Sufficiency is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Call 973-940-3500 to register or to obtain log-in details for remote participation via Zoom. Project Self-Sufficiency is located at 127 Mill Street, Newton.

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Project Self-Sufficiency is a community-based non-profit organization which specializes in services for low-income families in northwestern New Jersey. Programs offered at Project Self-Sufficiency include family literacy education, computer training and job placement services, assistance with parenting skills, childcare, counseling and advocacy, referrals, and help with emergency basic needs. To donate or for more information about the programs and services offered by Project Self-Sufficiency, visit or call 973-940-3500.

Newton, NJ

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Area Schools Collected Record Number of Toys in Friendly Competition

Students from the Pope John Middle School and the Stuff the Stocking trophy.Project Self-Sufficiency. Students from a record-breaking 38 schools in Sussex and Northern Warren Counties spent the last few weeks of 2021 collecting more than 7,500 new, unwrapped toys in a friendly Stuff the Stocking competition to benefit Project Self-Sufficiency’s Season of Hope Toy Drive. Each year, the winning school takes home the coveted Stuff the Stocking trophy, along with a monetary donation to their school’s activity fund. Second and third place winners also receive monetary donations for their schools. Pope John XXIII Middle School was the victor in the 2021 contest, with more than 1,000 toys collected. Returning champion Reverend George A. Brown Memorial School tied with the Hardyston Middle School for second place. Additional honors went to Longest Running Stocking Stuffer Hilltop Country Day School, Most Consistent Stocking Stuffer Green Hills School, and Most Spirited Stocking Stuffer North Warren Regional. Rookie Stocking Stuffer of the Year went to first-time participant Oxford Central School. Local schools which collected more than 100 toys included Byram Intermediate School, Franklin Elementary School, Frelinghuysen Elementary School, High Point Regional High School, Newton High School, Pope John High School, Sparta Township Middle School, Stillwater Elementary School, Sussex Technical School, and Vernon Township High School.

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