Exploring the Role of the Community in Social Emotional Learning
Adapted from the Social Innovation Summit panel discussion “Supporting Children’s Emotional Health during a Health Crisis,” moderated by Beth Meyer from Discovery Education and featuring panelists Laura Barbieri, Manager CSR & Community Relations at LG Electronics USA; Laura Bakosh, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Inner Explorer; Bridget Durkan Laird, CEO of Wings for Kids; Cheryl Hollis, Wings for Kids; and Laura Freveletti, Senior Program Officer of The Allstate Foundation.
Addressing student mental health has never been more critical. Now more than ever, supporting students will require the efforts of entire communities, including corporate and community partners. Around the world, companies are putting SEL into their bigger mission picture, focusing not only on content and learning standards, but on helping schools identify and implement long-term solutions. We all have a role to play in equipping youth with the skills necessary to reduce stress and create sustainable happiness in their lives.
LG Electronics, Inner Explorer, Wings for Kids and the Allstate Foundation are among those organizations committed to expanding their efforts specifically related to student mental health. These companies are putting SEL into the mainstream conversation and recognize the need to engage students at their level, all within the context of unprecedented learning interruption and an uncertain future.
By focusing on the power of science-based happiness and the choices students make that impact their wellbeing, SEL education helps students fully realize the power they have over their emotions and their ability to show empathy and establish positive relationships.
At Discovery Education, we recognize it is our job to support educators in maintaining continuity of learning both in and out of classroom. Discovery Education Experience provides engaging high-quality content, ready-to-use digital lessons, creative collaboration tools, and practical professional learning resources to give educators everything they need to facilitate instruction and create a lasting educational impact in any learning environment. Through programs developed in conjunction with corporate and community partners, educators and parents can access student-centered resources that can become the foundation for starting conversations about social emotional wellness with students at all grade levels.
Discover Your Happy, in partnership with LG Electronics, focuses on mastering the six sustainable happiness skills to help students in grades 7-12 learn to reduce stress and identify actionable ways to bring happiness to their communities.
Wings for Kids and Allstate Foundation joined forces with Discovery Education to develop Soar with Wings, providing learning activities that incorporate academics and fun while building social and emotional skills with grades K–5. Soar with Wings also provides educators, youth leaders, and caregivers with tips and tools to help their children soar.
In partnership with Tata Consultancy Services, Ignite My Future is an educational initiative transforming the way students learn and apply computational thinking, even as it relates to social and emotional wellness. Program resources provide opportunities for students collect data, analyze and decompose perspectives of happiness from around the world.
An inspiring educational program that teaches through the power of testimony, Teaching with Testimony draws upon USC Shoah Foundation’s vast library of audiovisual testimony from survivors and witnesses of genocides to motivate students in grades 6-12 to find their voices and take action for a better future.
Speak Truth to Power, founded by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, introduces students to influential human rights defenders using powerful storytelling and interactive learning to inspire passion and action to end and prevent human rights abuses and violations around the world. Through flexible, standards-aligned digital resources educators and caregivers have the power to engage and inspire the next generation of human rights defenders.
As important as the resources themselves is the accessibility of tools to that can be utilized by all communities. As part of the ongoing response to support the transition to distance learning and the increased involvement of parents in the learning process, Discovery Education introduced the DailyDE, a collection of meaningful and engaging activities to aid in maintaining continuity while students are at home. A special DailyDE_SEL Edition highlights activities from the programs noted above. In addition, educators with access to Discovery Education Experience can also find SEL-focused resources, including SOS Instructional Strategies and a professional development webinar in the Professional Learning Center.
While there is no one-size-fits all solution to addressing the social and emotional needs for all students, there is certainly and ongoing need for corporate and community partners to broaden their involvement in supporting schools in meeting the needs of students and educators related to SEL. Learn more about Discovery Education’s efforts to help ensure equity of access to research-based strategies and methods needed to foster students’ academic growth.