Shortly after Carmen Dorton’s nephew, was born premature, weighing 2lbs 4oz., Rainbows began providing services in the family’s home. He then attended Rainbows’ Early Care and Education Program until he graduated from Pre-Kindergarten. Currently, he works with a Rainbows’ Targeted Case Manager. “He is doing good,” said Carmen. “He is the sweetest little guy.”
Carmen earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and in Education, as well as her teaching license. She has taught in early childhood education for 13 years.
When Carmen decided to make a change from teaching to mental health services, she chose Rainbows. “As a former teacher, I know how important it is to feel supported in the classroom,” she said. “I enjoy working with teachers finding interventions/strategies that can be utilized in the classroom. Also, I love building relationships with the kids and finding ways to teach social/emotional skills and interventions so they can be successful in the classroom.”
Rainbows’ Early Childhood Mental Health program partners with The Opportunity Project (TOP) to provide mental health services in their early learning centers. Carmen assists teachers, and helps children in the classrooms de-escalate their behaviors and regulate their emotions.
As a Mental Health Assistant, Carmen offices at TOP South and works with kids ages 1-5 years-old. She works with children who are displaying significant behavior concerns in the classroom. She builds relationships, teaches social/emotional skills and develops interventions/strategies that can be implemented in the classroom. She also supports classroom teachers.
“I started in November, 2018 and I have learned so much about behavior and different interventions from the Mental Health Specialists on my team,” said Carmen. “I love how positive, caring and supportive everyone is at Rainbows.”
“We are fortunate to have Carmen on our team,” said Audra Kenneson, Early Childhood Mental Health Services Coordinator. “She brings the voice of an early childhood teacher, which is special and important to the work we do. Our team values her input and knows that she makes us stronger by sharing her viewpoint.”
Carmen likes to work out and spend time with family and friends. She reads a lot of educational, fact-based books, articles, journals, etc. especially ones that deal with Health and Nutrition.
Carmen has two boys, Zach and Jakob. Her youngest graduated high school in May 2021.