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Novion's Story

Whenever Novion got angry he would just shut down. He was failing in school because of the situations he was going through at home.

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Healing childhood adversity so students can learn.




Preparing Children For Learning

PEACE program in session doing a group activity that develops skills in problem solving, communication and emotional regulation.

SET’s PEACE program is an evidence-based, urban-education program, for children in elementary or middle school. We deliver a small-group process that provides the healing needed to build a solid base for learning. The program began in 1997 in response to concerns from Milwaukee principals and teachers about their students’ emotional dysregulation, a condition that interferes with academic achievement.

A trauma-informed curriculum was developed by behavioral-health professionals to facilitate an environment of healthy group functioning where skills for emotional regulation can be learned and practiced. Students learn to overcome aggression and feel more connected to their peers. This program offsets the adversity or trauma a child may be experiencing at home so children can conquer emotional dysregulation before it begins to significantly impact their life path.

The Science of the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study makes it clear that by healing childhood trauma early, so that children are ready to learn when they arrive at school each day, we can increase academic success and high school graduate rates. The PEACE curriculum is built on the science of the ACE study and trauma-informed care.


Dr. Staci Young, Medical College of Wisconsin

It (the PEACE program) creates an environment
in which young people feel safe and are able to
communicate in an appropriate way with their teachers
and facilitators 
in the classrooms. These are life skills
they can bring home to their families.


Preparing Children For Life

The PEACE program encourages students to consider the consequences of their actions and teaches alternatives to acting, or reacting, in anger or from pain. The program offers methods for healing for children impacted by violence, stress and trauma.

  • Provides a consistent, safe environment
  • Creates opportunities to develop a sense of belonging by receiving acceptance and support from peers
  • Presents skill concepts through direct instruction, discussion, modeling, storytelling and role-playing activities that create teachable moments
  • Develops life skills in emotional regulation, impulse control, conflict resolution, problem solving, decision making, and communication

The adversity that a child experiences impairs his/her readiness to learn.

Students Need Extra Guidance

School social work services have been provided by SET since 1987. At certain schools where SET is contracted to do so, we work with students referred by their teacher who are experiencing difficulty with social skills, emotional regulation and academic performance. We acknowledge that behavior problems are a symptom of trauma from childhood adversity. Applying the healing methods of trauma-informed care, we work with students to develop coping skills and build resiliency.

Students at participating schools are given one-on-one guidance, as well as participate in SET’s small-group process with other students experiencing similar challenges. We collaborate with both parents and teachers to provide an environment where students feel safe and are supported by caring, trusted adults so they are more able to process and move past each adversity. Students are ready to learn in school, with skills in problem solving, decision-making and communication that contribute to their success in both school and life.

At  a Glance

Number of Students:
 908 elementary school students
Atlas Preparatory Academy,  New Testament Christian Academy, Silver Spring Elementary School
Program Intensity:
28 weekly sessions of 30 minutes each per student during the school year
Interdisciplinary Team:
Bachelor-prepared Human-Services Professionals directed by Behavioral-Health Professionals



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