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Local teacher helps children learn how to cope with trauma through unique curriculum

Posted at 4:25 PM, May 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 18:42:01-04

LYNDHURST, Ohio — Annie Beck is a teacher at Sunview Elementary School in Lyndhurst. She teaches 28 first grade students who sometimes bring more to class than she would have ever imagined.

Personal problems weigh heavily on anyone, but especially for small children.

“They come to school, we have no clue what’s going on in their lives,” Beck said.

Beck has countered this issue and altered her curriculum to help students in crisis. She teamed up with Nakeshia Nickerson to mentor students through a program called Tulvia Lane.

Nickerson sells her books and workshops online. She tells stories of kids who haven't only witnessed trauma, they’ve survived it.

When kids read Nickerson’s stories, it helps them build their own coping skills. She knows that explaining feelings can be tough for some students and many feel alone in their trauma. Nickerson's books help students realize they are not alone.

Each story comes with a workbook-something student can do at home.

Nickerson also holds workshops to assist children with writing their own stories.

This story is part of A Better Land, an ongoing series that investigates Northeast Ohio's deep-seated systemic problems. Additionally, it puts a spotlight on the community heroes fighting for positive change in Cleveland and throughout the region. If you have an idea for A Better Land story, tell us here.