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School District Promotes Social Emotional Learning with School Events Based on Mindfulness Research

School District Promotes Social Emotional Learning with School Events Based on Mindfulness Research

The Greenwich Public Schools (GPS) in Connecticut are providing a look into how it is committed to providing students with social emotional learning through a series of unique initiatives.

According to The Greenwich Sentinel, GPS has designed a list of core beliefs that are rooted in research on “mindfulness in school-based contexts.” The core beliefs are as follows:

  • Increased Empathy and Understanding of Others
  • Better Focus and Concentration
  • Increased Sense of Calm
  • Decreased Stress and Anxiety
  • Improved Impulse Control
  • Increased Self-Awareness
  • Skillful Responses to Difficult Emotions
  • Development of Effective Conflict Resolution Skills

In other words, GPS is using these core beliefs to expose students to programming that helps them "cope with stress, strengthen self-awareness, and build resilience and self-regulation.”

The initiative, called Dare 2 Care Social Emotional Learning (SEL) initiative, aims to both expand “current SEL and mindfulness programming” as well as “organize parent and student mindfulness opportunities” to create a community-wide effort. One of the biggest overall goals, the article says, is to teach principles in such a way as to prevent mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression from plaguing students later on.

GPS officials hope the initiative will also lead to better academic performances as students learn ways to cope with stress and “increase their ability to self-regulate.”

Part of officials’ efforts to increase related programming include declaring several days throughout the school year as days related to promoting mindfulness.

On Thursday Nov. 10, for example, students throughout the district are encouraged to wear red to “join the chain of kindness” and promote empathy.

On May 10, students are encouraged to wear blue to declare unity on the importance of character on “Be Honest—Character Matters” day.

Read the full article here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

10/3/2016

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