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Storyteller Children’s Center is a preschool for homeless or at-risk children ages 18 months to 5 years, which takes a comprehensive, therapeutic approach to helping the whole family break the cycle of poverty. Our goal is not only to teach children to be ready for kindergarten, but also to help the parents to succeed as well.
Most of the children who come to Storyteller have been exposed to trauma, whether it be from domestic abuse, alcohol and drug addition, or the extreme stress caused by living for extended periods of time in cars, severely overcrowded apartments, or even dumpsters. Numerous studies have shown the ill effects early trauma can have on a child’s developing brain; however, studies have also shown that high-quality interventions can reverse this damage. Our own longitudinal study, conducted in conjunction with UCSB, showed that Storyteller children were better prepared for kindergarten than similar children, and continued to do well through third grade.