Problems at Home Affect a Child’s Academic Performance


Morgan County teachers, counselors, social workers, youth organizations and others will tell you the number of our children experiencing trauma continues to rise each year. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as abuse, neglect, domestic violence, mental illness, addiction, and more have been identified in our schools as children struggle to cope and learn.


“Many of our kids in school haven’t learned how to effectively cope with challenges such as receiving a bad grade, criticism from their peers, or changes in their home life. As a result, they’re either getting angry or having a meltdown in the classroom and when they come to see me, some of them want to crawl under my desk or table to escape the stress they’re feeling,” said Niki Walls, a Youth First Social Worker at Bell Intermediate Academy in Martinsville. “If they can’t learn to cope at this age, what’s going to happen when they’re adults and they have a meltdown or worse?”


That’s why the Community Foundation of Morgan County (CFMC) is working with educators, school psychologists, community leaders and others to provide the necessary training, manpower and additional resources to ensure our kids receive the help they need. With everyone’s support, these students can work towards becoming healthier and productive adults in our communities.


“Everyone asks me what’s the biggest issue I handle with these students. I would honestly say the root of it stems from their lack of self-esteem. Many of them, unfortunately, hate themselves,” added Walls. “I challenged one student to write four positive things about themself and they really struggled in completing the task.”




·         Hoosier children living in poverty are three times more likely to have two or more ACES than their peers who live above the federal poverty line.

·         41% of Indiana children with two or more ACES are four times likely to be bullied or excluded by their peers compared to kids (10.8%) with no ACES.

·         5.2% of children have been diagnosed with depression and 11% have been diagnosed with anxiety problems.

Children experiencing mental health issues is a real problem in our schools. The Community Foundation of Morgan County (CFMC) has identified real solutions like funding Youth First social workers to be placed in local schools. Partnering with our community through private and corporate philanthropy makes these real solutions possible. Go to to give today and help change lives tomorrow.