Building resilience for Every Child, in 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.

Issues to be addressed are related to Arkansas’ top national ranking for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Arkansas has the highest percentage of children who have experienced emotional or physical abuse, neglect, family instability, poverty or exposure to violence. These are some of the 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.

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 resilient families and communities.

The summit kicks off at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, with an intensive session: The Building Blocks of Becoming a Trauma-Informed Organization. The summit will continue Wed., Sept. 26, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., with breakout sessions on two tracks: public policy and community- and faith-based organizations; and mental health, public health and school health.

On Wednesday, Sept. 26, the keynote speakers are 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.

Wednesday’s luncheon will feature a special award presentation to Arkansas First Lady Susan Hutchinson for her leadership in working to raise awareness about ACEs and their effects.

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.

The summit is sponsored by AFMC, the Arkansas Children’s Trust Fund/Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services, Arkansas Times, Arkansas Association for Infant Mental Health, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and the School-Based Health Alliance of Arkansas.