Arkansas has the highest percentage in the nation of children who have experienced emotional or physical abuse, neglect, family instability, poverty or exposure to violence. These are some of the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that can negatively affect children’s mental and physical health throughout their lives. Building resilience in children through nurturing relationships within their family, school and communities can help prevent and stop the damage done by ACEs.

Building resilience for Every Child, Every Community is the theme for the second Arkansas Childhood Experiences and Resilience Summit, Sept. 25-26, at Camp Aldersgate, 2000 Aldersgate Road, Little Rock.

The summit is designed for school administrators, health care professionals, mental health and school health professionals, elected officials, community- and faith-based organizations, and state and local agency staff. Attendees will learn about ways to work with Arkansans across the state to prevent and address ACEs and help build resilience by developing safe, stable and nurturing relationships within families and communities.

The summit will begin Tuesday, Sept. 25, from 1 to 4 p.m. with an intensive session: The Building Blocks of Becoming a Trauma-Informed Organization.

The summit will continue Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., with breakout sessions on three tracks: public policy; mental health, public health and school health; and community and faith-based organizations.

On Sept. 26, the keynote speakers will be Howard Pinderhughes, PhD, associate professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing, and Rene Boynton Jarrett, MD, ScD, associate professor at Boston University School of Medicine and founding director of the Vital Village Community Engagement Network. Dr. Pinderhughes will speak from 8:45 to 10 a.m.; Dr. Jarrett will speak from 1 to 2 p.m.

A special evening session is available at no cost from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25 for early childhood classroom teachers and staff, K-12 teachers and staff, foster or adoptive parents and parents of children with special health needs, at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn Drive, Little Rock.

Learn how you and your organization can work with others across the state to prevent and address ACEs and help build resilient families and communities.