Kids come to school with a lot of feelings: fear, anxiety, abandonment, and confusion. Educators teach social and emotional (SEL) skills like empathy, persistence, and problem-solving to support them, but too often kids find themselves on playgrounds, sports teams, and even in homes where these skills are not valued or modeled.
Extending effective SEL beyond the classroom was the subject of a Featured Session at this year’s SXSWedu, the conference that has become the identifier of trends in education. Personalized Learning Games’ Chief Impact Officer Jessica Berlinski joined Newtown School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Erardi, Avielle Foundation CEO Dr. Jeremy Richman, and Executive Director of Committee for Children Joan Duffell at SXSWedu to share how they are collectively working to build SEL skills community-wide in Newtown, CT.
The Spark Initiative, sponsored by the Avielle Foundation, seeks to build and model SEL skills, as well as educate about brain health, to ensure that youth are supported at every “touch point” in their lives. The initiative combines Second Step SEL work in schools; game-based assessment and personalized skill building via 3C Institute-developed Zoo U; and training of parents, coaches, and community leaders. This combined approach provides a wraparound support system that reinforces skills like empathy, self-awareness, tenacity, and cooperation in and out of the classroom.
“Effective SEL: From Classroom to Community” drew hundreds to hear about this innovative model for learning and youth success, and now it’s available to you on demand. Watch the video to learn how to effectively and efficiently enable classroom SEL instruction to reach the broader community.