Books To Inspire And Engage

Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment

Authors Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello explore the far-reaching consequences of trauma and offers a groundbreaking strategy for preventing it. (Out now in print and ebook formats with the ebook available free of charge to New Mexican residents)

100% Community: Ensuring trauma-free and thriving children, students and families

In the new book (publishing in January 2020), the authors Katherine Ortega-Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello provide every community with the knowledge needed to ensure that 100% of our children, students and families have access to the 10 vital services shown to prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma.

Praise for the work of Dr. Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello

“Congratulations to Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello on the publication of their powerful and important book. We have far too many children in Santa Fe and across the nation who simply aren’t getting the love, care, and attention they deserve. They aren’t safe, and that’s just plain wrong. This book tells that story—and what we can all do to help our kids. Please read this book and tell your friends, neighbors and elected officials to do the same.”

—Alan Webber, Mayor of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and co-founder of Fast Company magazine

“While being raised in an era of technological progress, many of our youngest generation still face complex personal traumas. Abuse knows no socio-economic or geographic boundaries, but it can be overcome and its damage repaired. This remarkable book is the brainchild of authors Courtney and Cappello, whose empathy, reason and inspired thinking have resulted in a brilliant plan to heal the scars of a generation. Anna, Age Eight should be required reading for every teacher, every parent, and every public leader from health official to mayor—because this epidemic of trauma is real and must be taken seriously.”

—Yarrott Benz, teacher and author of The Bone Bridge: A Brother’s Story, IPPY gold medal winner

Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment (Ortega Courtney, Cappello. 2018) is about using data to inform decisions that affect the well-being of the most vulnerable members of our communities—our children. The authors assert that a handful of ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) can predict the levels of trauma in a child’s life, and doing something about these early on can reverse their negative effects. With the right software and training, public health workers can become data leaders, saving the government millions of dollars and saving families multitudes of heartbreaks. The authors offer common sense solutions including systemic change and a plea for attention on the part of citizens and lawmakers to ‘give a damn’.”

—Pamela Etre-Perez, PhD, Former Director of Adult Education, State of New Mexico; Former Dean of the School of Adult Education, Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque

Anna, Age Eight is a call for much-needed action. Childhood trauma and maltreatment are predictable in many ways. We know why it occurs and we must be strategic if we are to significantly reduce it. The book asks that we educate ourselves about this hidden epidemic of trauma and mobilize our cities and towns around evidence-based solutions. The book is a blueprint for creating family-friendly and trauma-free communities across the nation. Kudos to authors Courtney and Cappello.”

—Pepper Schwartz, PhD, Author and Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington

“Quite simply, everyone who has a child or works with children in any capacity should read this book. All of us—parents, educators, physicians, those in all walks of social work and law enforcement. It is the guide we need to find answers to the enormous problem of childhood adversity. Anna, Age Eight provokes us into thinking harder and smarter about how to go about reaching the solution proposed, that of data-driven reforms. This book is written in user-friendly language sharing not only the traumas but anecdotal stories and reflections. It makes the reader feel that there really are solutions and that everyone should be involved.”

—Heather Race, former educator

“This book brought data to a place of relevancy for social change. It was written in an easy to follow, plain-speak format which made the read not only informative, but very enjoyable and motivating. The ‘it’s time to get real’ language about child welfare and change was refreshing! I would HIGHLY recommend this text to anyone interested in the well being of children. This isn’t a book reserved for professionals in the field, or for parents, or students—the book brings something for everyone.”

—Dr. Melissa Hardin, Program of Social Work, Eastern New Mexico University

“I love this book because it’s recommendations are actionable, at what ever level of public engagement you begin from. The discovery of the role of adverse childhood experiences in health is one of the most important breakthroughs in the last four decades. These issues affect many of us, silently. The authors have done a superb job of covering the issues and leaving the reader ready to act. Please buy a few extra copies and give them to your pastor, your city council person, your Congressional representative, state legislators, teacher friends, your pediatrician.”

—Robin Swift, New Mexico Public Health expert

“As the former Deputy Cabinet Secretary of New Mexico’s child welfare department, I know first hand the challenges faced by staff and policy makers on every level, as well as by our children and families. Anna, Age Eight is a book that must be read by all those who care about families and those that would like to see a more efficient and effective use of public dollars. It’s filled with clear recommendations that will bring stakeholders together to end this epidemic of adverse childhood experiences, trauma and maltreatment, while simultaneously promoting the strengths of children, families and systems intended to support them.”

—Marisol Atkins, Former Deputy Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Child, Youth and Families Department

“I appreciate the genuine and authentic approach to creating a narrative for a very emotionally charged social and public health issue. As a licensed clinical social worker/psychotherapist, I am aware of the long lasting scars that are carried into adulthood by children who have experienced complex trauma. Anna, Age Eight provides candid snapshots of various perspectives from the client, to the service providers and the systems that must be navigated. The narrative provides what we need to be compassionate, intentional, and proactive in our approach to starting a movement, one that begins by shedding a punitive mentality and adopting an inspiring, hopeful, and ‘that changes now’ attitude. It’s a powerful little paperback that tells it like it is, dares us to imagine a better future for our children and delivers a way to get there. And when all is said and done, it honors the life and death of a little girl named Anna.”

—Xenia G Becher, MSW, Syracuse University