Collaboration between Stony Brook University and the Little Flower Union Free School District in Wading River, NY, continued this year with help from the School of Social Welfare.
Robin DeLuca-Acconi, clinical associate professor and assistant dean of Student Services at the School of Social Welfare, recently presented to the faculty and staff at Little Flower on trauma and adverse childhood experiences, and how these experiences affect the brain and present in a school setting.
As a school social worker for 20 years, DeLuca-Acconi’s background focuses on anxiety in children and adolescents and educational access and equity issues for historically under-resourced and marginalized populations. Her research has highlighted the impact of social-emotional competencies, human rights education and corporate social responsibility.
Little Flower is the only residential Special Act public school district on Long Island, and it supports students with unique educational needs. Many students live in cottages at the Wading River campus as part of the Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York’s residential treatment center, while other students attend the school during the day.
The district seeks “to create a learning environment where our students foster the tenets of respect, responsibility, and self-worth so they can transition back into their community and take pride in their accomplishments,” according to its mission statement.
In December 2022, the University and Hospital Community Relations Office coordinated a campus visit for Little Flower students who heard from Maria Hensley-Spera, clinical instructor of psychiatry at the Renaissance School of Medicine and field supervisor at the School of Social Welfare. Hensley-Spera discussed adversity, resiliency and the characteristics of success.
— Erika Karp