What’s Your Connection?

We all face tough times. Ongoing stress from tough times can lead to poor health and other challenges as the brain adapts to survive. Yet, science shows that caring relationships can change these outcomes.

Make connections

  • Put down your smart phone and spend 15 minutes non-electronic time with a child
  • Share a meal or cup of coffee with friends
  • Contact a friend to ask how they are doing
  • Offer an encouraging smile to a parent whose child is throwing a tantrum at the store
  • Play a rule-based game with a young child
  • Introduce yourself to someone you’ve seen before in your neighborhood but never said hi to
  • Connect with a young parent and make a plan to do something (shopping, take a walk, lunch)

attend a Workshop

Our interactive, evidence-based workshops explains how stress impacts the brain and why relationships improve individual and community well-being. Attendees will leave with practical ideas for taking action in their work, faith, neighborhood and friend networks.

Request a general or an education-specific Connections Matter workshop in your community by clicking here.

The following trained presenters will deliver presentations in your area:

  • Nola Aigner - Polk County Health Department, Polk County
  • Gladys Alvarez – Orchard Place Child Guidance Center, Polk County
  • Carrie Ausdemore - Boys Town of Iowa, Pottawattamie County
  • Tracy Beck - First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, Polk County
  • Jamie Beskow, RN BSN - Lee County Health Department, Lee County
  • Ana Coppola - Polk County Health Department, Polk County
  • Lisa Cushatt – Central Iowa ACEs 360 Coalition, Polk County
  • Dionne Daedlow - Cedar County Community Partnerships for Protecting Children, Cedar County
  • Kaci O'Day-Goldstein - Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association, Polk County
  • Lana Herteen – Blank Children’s Hospital, Polk County
  • Lindsey Hornbaker – Child Abuse Council, Scott County
  • Tony J. Raymer – Polk County
  • Claire Richmond - Healthy Homes Des Moines, Polk County
  • Patricia Russmann – Promise Partners, Pottawattamie County
  • Dr. Amy Shriver - Blank Children's Hospital, Polk County
  • Shelley R. Smith - Families Making Connections, Floyd, Mitchell and Chickasaw counties
  • Ashlee Swinton – Youth Justice Initiative, Polk and Dallas counties
  • Michelle Walters - Building Families, Hamilton, Humboldt, Wright counties
  • Sarah Welch – Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, Polk County
  • Dana Yerington - CPPC & Iowa State University Extension, Muscatine County