First Literacy 2-Part Workshop Registration 

Trauma and Learning
Friday, December 3 and 17, 2021
1:00 - 2:30 PM via Zoom

Workshop Description:

Our brains are built to prioritize survival above all else. Faced with single-incident threats or chronic experiences of harm, the brain responds instinctively in a pattern that ensures survival in part by not utilizing other neurological functions. The brain is use dependent, meaning that the more this pattern is repeated, the more entrenched it becomes. Decades of research have revealed that the brain's response to trauma has a significant impact on the learning process. This is especially meaningful in the classroom with adult learners, many of whom have experienced complex trauma across the lifespan. These sessions will introduce participants to the basics of how the brain responds to trauma and how that response pattern impacts the learning process. Participants will learn about building and maintaining a trauma-informed classroom and will leave with tools that can be easily implemented in their very next class session.  
(Please note: The presenter will count on your attendance at both sessions.) 

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to

  • explain the impact of trauma on the brain;
  • explain the connection between trauma and learning;
  • define trauma-informed learning; and
  • identify several examples of trauma-informed tools and techniques for their classroom(s).


Allison Hrovat has worked as a trauma therapist for nearly fifteen years in a variety of community settings. She is also Assistant Professor of Human Services at Holyoke Community College where she teaches and advises students aspiring to enter helping professions. Allison has designed and taught courses on trauma at HCC as well as several other educational institutions, and frequently presents professional trainings to educators, social service providers and community groups. Across her professional roles, Allison works to address the challenges of humanity—from interpersonal conflicts to widespread violence and systems-level injustices and inequities—from a foundation of courage, compassion and creativity.   

This workshop is free to staff of all Massachusetts non-profit ABE and ESOL Programs.

Questions with an * are required. Thank you!

Workshop Participant
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