Every Child’s Champion Series: J’Taime Lyons
Our Student Support Specialists are champions for our children. Join us on this journey as we introduce you to the everyday superheroes working with the students and families across our state.
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CIS officially launched services at Eastlawn Elementary on August 26, 2016, thanks to a grant from State Farm. Read more here.
What motivates you?
The future. I look at the state of children living in poverty since the 1700s, and I see that the rate of improvement in their life outcomes has grown slowly. I want to change that. I believe that with organizations like CIS, we can rapidly change those outcomes for children living in poverty by realizing it takes a village to strengthen our country, state, and cities. My mission statement in life is to increase opportunities for children living in poverty, and this is what drives me daily.
Our students face a variety of barriers each day. Which barriers do you see the most? How can CIS help?
One of the major barriers I see for children is handling big emotions. Children and adults experience big emotions such as anger, sadness, and even happiness, but we all do not learn how to handle these emotions. Due to not having the strategies to deal with anger and sadness, students sometimes act out as a cry for help. They scream “help me deal with what I am experiencing!” via negative behaviors.
CIS helps with this through targeted interventions such as Check & Connect, where I spend weekly one-on-one time speaking with this child and discussing their state of being. Through these discussions, we then work on strategies and interventions that will help them with their big emotions. I am accountable to them, and they are accountable to me; they feel empowered knowing that.
When working with students, what is one thing that you’d like for them to know and remember about you?
That I care. I care for them and believe in them no matter their circumstances. Rita Pierson stated, “Every child deserves a champion.” That is who I seek to be for children.