2002 Old St Augustine Rd, Building A, Suite 50, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Partnership with FSU and Leon County Schools to Build Resiliency in Pre-K Students

CSC Leon, Children's Services of Leon County, Rebound and Recovery (image of tree logo with family)

Nearly 200 professionals and more than 1,200 young students will benefit from this investment.

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Earlier this week, the Leon County School Board (LCS) approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Florida State University (FSU) committing in-kind resources to support the implementation of “Rebound & Recovery.” This cognitive behavioral resiliency program is funded by the Children’s Services Council of Leon County (CSC Leon) to help increase pre-K student understanding of and capacity to regulate their emotions.

Research shows a direct correlation between a child’s ability to regulate and understand their emotions and their aptitude for achieving academic success from preschool to college. Yet, learning in traditional settings can be difficult for children who have experienced trauma or have emotional delays. It is also difficult for educators and caregivers if they are not properly trained in effective strategies to address the behaviors associated with these concerns.

“Most educators are not prepared to work with children who experience trauma and other common childhood mental disorders,” explained Ellen Piekalkiewicz, director for the Stoops Center for Communities, Families and Children at FSU. “Rebound and Recovery fills the knowledge gap by equipping teachers and paraprofessionals in the classrooms with a cognitive behavioral intervention proven to positively impact classroom behavior and student success, even in preschool populations.”

“Rebound & Recovery” plans to train 75 teachers, 51 paraprofessionals, 21 guidance counselors, 15 school psychologists and 10 school social workers and to host at least four (4) caregiver workshops. In total, the pilot estimates it will impact more than 1,200 students in the county.

“Leon County Schools is proud to support the implementation of this program in 26 preschool programs across the community,” stated Superintendent Rocky Hanna. “With expected outcomes to improve emotional regulation of our youngest learners, Rebound and Recovery is a promising program to help ensure children are socially and emotionally ready for kindergarten.”

The estimated cost of the one-year pilot is $445,200, or approximately $371 per child. Previous studies of the program in other communities yielded improvements in 90% of those served, as well as an $11 to $1 return on investment.

Cecka Rose Green, executive director for CSC Leon, explains this is a pilot to demonstrate effectiveness of an innovative program to address a critical need in the community. “Using evidence-based practices, Rebound & Recovery is one such program that not only addresses the resiliency and regulation issues that too many of our youngest learners face, but also is supported by research that shows a positive return on investment.”

The contract between CSC Leon and FSU was approved in September and training services are already underway. With less than 50% of students in Leon County arriving at kindergarten fully prepared to meet the social and emotional demands of the classroom, this investment is a timely response to an identified need included in the CSC Leon Needs Assessment published last summer.

Green continued, “This collaboration demonstrates the Council’s commitment to fund prevention programs that impact our community’s children during the first five years of life. If we can effectively address kindergarten readiness, we can change this community.”

To date, CSC Leon has committed $12.2 million to fund services dedicated to children, youth, and families across eight impact areas. The Council is scheduled to publish its first investment report chronicling the first two years of operations in the coming months.