A Year in Review 2018-2019

Over the 2018-2019 year, the Schubert Center was just coming off of a 20th anniversary all-day conference, generously supported by The Cleveland Foundation, The City Club of Cleveland, Ideastream, The George Gund Foundation, United Way of Greater Cleveland, Jane Kessler, Donald and Gerda Freedheim. The conference, “Cleveland: A Community Committed to Our Children,” which can be viewed on our website, ushered in a year of growth and strategic planning for the center.

Anastasia Dimitropoulos, Associate Professor of Psychology, joined the center as the Research Director, coordinating the center’s research efforts, including a Seed Grant Opportunity for bridging research and policy in a community organization, co-funded by the Office of Research and Technology Management. Cara Byrne, Lecturer in English and Sages Instructor, took on the role of Research Advisor on Diverse Children’s Literature to coordinate the Schubert Center’s involvement in the Cleveland Foundation’s Common Ground with Oh, The Places You’ll Go and and Anisfield-Wolf’s Book Week event featuring the author and illustrator of Crown.

The third annual Kessler-Freedheim lecture was held in February 2019 featuring Dr. David Mandel and supported by International Center for Austim Research and Education and Milestones Autism Resources. His lecture titled “Disparities in Diagnosing and Care for Children with Autism” highlighted the disparities that exist, what are potential causes for them, and steps to move forward. The center also partnered with UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Pediatric Grand Rounds to bring Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris to Cleveland for a lecture on ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and Toxic Stress and Tri-C to bring Mr. Richard Rothstein to talk about housing disparities.

Policy efforts this year were focused around supportive school environments, lead-poisoning prevention and juvenile justice reforms. The center played a key role in advising The Ohio Board of Education on Social Emotional Learning Standards which were adopted as part of the ODE Strategic Plan. Efforts to keep children safe from lead  involved the development of the Ohio Lead Free Kids Coalition, an issue brief and budget recommendations for the State of Ohio, and testimony on New Rule for Early Intervention Programs in Ohio to support children with elevated blood lead levels. The Center also continued its work to improve police-youth interactions.

The students at CWRU continue to grow as leaders in the child research and policy fields. Mann externs had placements at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Invest in Children and four students were supported to see federal policy work in action in Washington D.C as part of CHST 302. Undergraduates were recognized for their child-focused research at the annual Intersections Poster Session, while others were recognized for their student organization, Art Forward, taking art into the juvenile detention center.

As the 2018-2019 year closes, the Schubert Center embarks on the future with implementing the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan. With long-term priorities to 1) Put child well-being at the forefront of research, policy and practice 2) Be the go-to resource and connector for child-related research and policy 3) Foster the next generation of child-centered leaders locally and nationally.

We continue to thank you for your support and we look forward to continue to engage with you with a regular newsletter beginning September 2019. To read more about any of our efforts this year, we encourage you to visit our website using the various links above.

The Schubert Center promotes the bridging of research and policy in undergraduate and graduate education. Experiential undergraduate courses supported by Robbie and Carol Mann include CHST 302, which allows students to spend spring break in Washington D.C. learning about federal policy, and the Mann externship, which allows students to work with a local organization on research and policy impacting children in Cleveland. This year, the Schubert Center highlighted research of undergraduates at the CWRU annual Intersections Poster Session. All students with research focused on children and adolescents were encouraged to participate in a separate competition and awards were given thanks to the generous support of the Welter-Muzic Fellowship Program. Additionally, students at CWRU are showing their leadership and initiative with the creation of a student organization, Art Forward, that connects undergraduate students with residents at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center. This program, under the advisement of Schubert Center Policy Director, Gabriella Celeste, has flourished since its inception in 2017, boasting more than 30 student participants and impacting dozens of residents. The Freedheim Fellows continued their dissertation research in the Department of Psychology.

Mann Externs

Mann Extern Spring 2019

Extern Zoë Sykes-Varnhagen (middle) and externship supervisors Shawna Rohrman (left) and Rebekah Dorman (right) at Invest in Children.

Mann Extern Fall 2018

Extern Marissa Jones (second from right) and externship supervisor Kristen Milzelbank (middle) with other members of the programs and advocacy department at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Washington D.C.

Four undergraduate students spent spring break in Washington D.C. understanding federal policy around juvenile justice, infant mortality, youth homelessness, and youth using e-cigarettes.

Intersections Poster Session

At the April 2019 Intersections: SOURCE Symposium and Poster Session, the Schubert Center honored undergraduate researchers whose work focused on topics related to children and childhood.

Art Forward

Art Forward is a student organization founded in 2017 by CWRU students, Jasmine Lee ’19 and Maya Nayak ’19 to connect CWRU students with residents of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center. It works to promote empathy, creativity, and self-reflection through meaningful engagement and art.

Freedheim Fellows

Laura Hlavaty, MA is a fifth year doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at CWRU with a specialization in children and families. Her research focuses on understanding cognitive, emotional, and social difficulties faced by youth diagnosed with ADHD.

Olena ZygaMA is a fourth year doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at CWRU with a specialization in children and families. Her research focuses on better understanding social cognitive aspects of both typical and atypical development, including factors such as pretend play, imagination, emotion regulation, and social interactions.

Lead Policy

Ohio Lead Free Kids Coalition Created and Lead Prevention Investments Sought in State of Ohio Budget

Policy Director Gabriella Celeste selected to serve on the Steering Committee of the Cleveland Lead Safe Coalition

The Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition Steering Committee will set the Coalition’s agenda in response to community-identified needs, coordinate activities across the Coalition’s various committees, community Coalition priorities to the public, and engage policymakers on behalf of the Coalition.”

Testimony on New Rules for Early Intervention Programs in Ohio

The Schubert Center, and many of our partners, submitted testimony to the Ohio Department of Developmental Disability (DoDD) who approved new rules concerning early intervention programs. We recommended that language be added to existing rules to provide children with confirmed elevated blood lead levels automatic eligibility for the Early Intervention program. Read Gabriella Celeste’s interview with Ideastream on what this means for children and families here.

Education Policy

SB 246, The SAFE Act, Aims to Provide Tools for Building Positive School Climates

Ohio passed HB318, which also included the SAFE Act, to make changes to school safety and reduce suspensions and expulsions. HB318 provides guidance on the roles and expectations of school resources offices. The SAFE Act limits suspensions for students in grades K-3 and funds professional development to foster social and emotional learning and positive behavior interventions and supports. Policy Director Gabriella Celeste provided testimony for both HB318 and SB246 (The SAFE Act).

SEL standards adopted by Ohio Department of Education

As part of Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education, Each Child, Our Future,  stakeholders including educators, counselors, and other educational personnel developed “Ohio’s Kindergarten through Grade 12 Social and Emotional Learning Standards”. Policy Director Gabriella Celeste participated in the advisory group for these standards. Read more here.

Juvenile Justice and Police-Youth Interactions

L.G. Amicus Brief to the Ohio Supreme Court

The Schubert Center joined several other organizations, under counsel of record Marsha Levick at the Juvenile Law Center, in an amicus or “friend of the court” brief to the Ohio Supreme Court in support of a lower court’s ruling that upheld a child’s rights to special constitutional protections during interrogations and a child’s rights to Miranda warnings when interrogated at school (In re L.G.). The amicus brief can be read here.

Policy Director Reappointed as a Commissioner to the Ohio Public Defender Commission

Policy Director Gabriella Celeste was reappointed as a Commissioner to the Ohio Public Defender Commission by Governor DeWine where she serves in an oversight role to the state indigent defender board, including juvenile public defenders. 

Community Policy Commission Selection Committee and Mental Health Response Advisory Committee

Policy Director Gabriella Celeste continued to serve on Cleveland Mayor Jackson’s Community Police Commission Selection Committee and the Mental Health Response Advisory Committee, created by the Consent Decree. In both roles, her efforts have focused on adoption of policies and practices that reflect an understanding of child and adolescent development and trauma-informed interactions. New search & seizure policies adopted by the Cleveland Division of Police incorporate age-appropriate guidance.

Child Welfare Policy

Policy Director Serves on Advisory Board to Cuyahoga County's Division of Children and Family Services

Policy Director Gabriella Celeste was selected to serve on the newly created advisory board to Cuyahoga County’s Division of Children and Family Services. The advisory board also includes faculty associate David Crampton. It will provide information and advice on policies related to services for children and families as well as coordinate between DCFS and community groups to improve community-DCFS engagement. Read more about the advisory board.

The Schubert Center for Child Studies in collaboration with the CWRU Office of Research and Technology Management Vice President, Suzanne Rivera, is pleased to announce the awarding of pilot grants totaling $50,000 to four primary investigators at Case Western Reserve University.

INvesT: Does telehealth risk assessment decrease age of identification of neurodevelopmental disabilities for high-risk, low-income groups?

Angela Ciccia (Department of Psychological Sciences)

Co-investigators Elizabeth Short (CWRU, Psychological Sciences), Nancy Roizen (CWRU, School of Medicine)

In collaboration with Cleveland Institute of Art and Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services (NEON), Hough Location

Comparison and Evaluation of Two Models of Follow-up with the Families of Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels

Marilyn Lotas (FPB School of Nursing)

Co-investigators Mary Quin Griffin (FPB School of Nursing) and Marguerite Dimarco (FPB School of Nursing)

In collaboration with: Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Environmental Health-Cleveland Department of Public Health, Neighborhood Connections and MetroHealth School Health Program

Overcoming Domestic Violence to Build Healthier Families: Investigation of a novel group-based intervention for mothers exposed to Intimate Partner Violence

Arin Connell (Department of Psychological Sciences)

In collaboration with West Side Community House

Exploring the Mental Health Needs of the Adolescent Latinx/Hispanic Community

Erika Trapl (PRCHN, School of Medicine)

Co-investigators Jean Frank (School of Medicine), Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez (School of Medicine) and Marisa Hollinshead (School of Medicine)

In collaboration with Hispanic UMADAOP of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine’s School Mental Health Program

Disparities in the Diagnosis and Care of Autism with Dr. David Mandel

Dr. David Mandel’s Kessler-Freedheim Lecture highlighted the disparities that exist, what potentially causes them, and some promising steps for improving them. Read more here.

ACEs and Toxic Stress

Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris gave a lecture at Peds Grand Rounds and The City Club of Cleveland on the impact of adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress on children.

Oh the places you will go

The Schubert Center hosted 40 participants to discuss diversity in children’s literature as part of the Cleveland Foundation’s city-wide Common Ground conversation initiative. Read more here.

Cleveland Book Week

Cleveland Book Week celebrated new voices in the picture book genre, as Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James, the award-winning author and illustrator of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, gave a family-friendly presentation at the Cleveland Public Library.

The Color of Law

Richard Rothstein led a small discussion group for interested CWRU and Tri-C students and faculty. This event focused on the long reach of housing policy discrimination on the well-being of children today.

Community and University Partners

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital Logo

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University, the Center convened 200 individuals committed to child well-being in order to promote healthy child and adolescent development by exploring the context of how children grow up. Specifically, “how do we make environments effective and equitable for all of our children?” This included an explicit focus on addressing inequities and disparities that impact children and families and our community’s home-grown solutions. The six panels throughout the day featured 43 members of the community, including researchers, advocates, parents, students, and practitioners. The panels can be viewed below as well as videos of what Cleveland’s youth have to say about environment and equity.

Realizing [Arts] Potential

Moderated by Deidre McPherson, Cleveland Museum of Art

Realizing [EARLY CHILDHOOD] Potential

Moderated by Rebekah Dorman, Invest in Children

Realizing [EDUCATION] Potential

Moderated by Victoria JacksonPolicy Matters Ohio

Realizing [HEALTH] Potential

Moderated by Terry AllanCuyahoga County Board of Health

Realizing [HOME/NEIGHBORHOOD] Potential

Moderated by Erika Anthony, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

Realizing [RELATIONSHIP] Potential

Moderated by Lisa Damour, Schubert Center for Child Studies

George Gund Foundation

Don and Gerda Freedheim

Jane Kessler

Strategic Plan 2019-2023

Promote a Culture of Child-First on Campus
Build the platform to showcase the excellence of CWRU on behalf of children
Shape policy to advance child well-being
Spotlight issues to inform research and/or policy
Strengthen organizational health