Prevention of Adverse Childhood Experiences Focus of Recent Grant Awards

Now more than ever before, Shasta County nonprofits and public entities working to prevent or mitigate Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are equipped with funding and resources to target these individual and community health challenges.

Adverse Childhood Experiences are an accumulation of 10 childhood traumatic experiences and the toxic stress that is strongly associated with brain and neurosystem changes during development. ACEs include experiences such as abuse, neglect, divorce and household instability before the age of 18. ACEs may be exacerbated by the pandemic-influences of social isolation, school closures and job loss. An ACE score of 4 or more is correlated to risky behaviors, poor physical and mental health outcomes, and challenging social conditions such as high rates of homelessness, harmful substance use and incarceration.

ACEs tend to repeat generationally, and Shasta County’s ACE scores are double the state average. Nearly 40% of the adults surveyed in Shasta County report 4 or more ACEs. Preventing and reducing the impact of ACEs has long-lasting health and economic benefits to individuals, families and communities. “We know that by focusing our efforts to help parents handle everyday stress, increasing the number of positive connections children have with healthy adults, and supporting children and families when they need it most, we can ultimately make the difference to reducing the ACEs a child may experience in their lifetime,” says First 5 Shasta Executive Director, Wendy Dickens.

With the funding support of Shasta County Health & Human Services and First 5 Shasta, the Community Foundation of the North State is pleased to announce a total of $191,200 in grant awards provided to five local organizations.

• $50,000 to FaithWorks – Launch Transitions program for homeless children
• $50,000 to Enterprise Elementary School District – Implement new social and emotional learning curriculum
• $46,200 to Hill Country Clinic for Indian Cultural Organization – Support multi-generational “Mending Broken Hearts Healing Circles” for Winnemem Wintu
• $40,000 to Northern California Center for Family Awareness – Support Kids’ Turn divorce workshops for families with refreshed curriculum and North State Parent education series
• $5,000 to Shasta Family YMCA – Center for Mind-Body Medicine trainings for two staff members

Robin Schurig, MPH, CPH – Public Health Branch Director of Shasta County Health and Human Services says, “This partnership with our agency, First 5, and the Community Foundation allows us to find innovative programs and provide programming support to organizations we may not otherwise contract with or know. We’re looking forward to the positive results that come out of these grant awards as we work together toward the equitable reduction of ACEs in our community.”

Kerry Caranci, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation of the North State added, “We believe this unique partnership is a model for communities across the country. As we explore non-traditional ways to reach our families and reduce the ACEs our children experience, we greatly look forward to breaking the generational cycles that are often involved. While we know this work will take time, we are here for the long-term.”

For more information about this and other grant programs managed by the Community Foundation, contact Megan Conn, Program Officer or visit