Social Emotional Learning

  • Back to School: Gearing Up for Resiliency And Readiness to Learn

    Back-to-school time is here!  Children across the country are headed back to the classroom and moving another step forward in their education and development.  Now is the perfect time for teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents to reinforce social emotional learning skills in kids.  Here are a few of our thoughts to help you maintain the back-to-school momentum throughout the school year and keep kids motivated.

    Make it cross-curricular. Social skill development doesn’t have to stay in your Too Good lessons.  Looking for More? lesson extenders provide great opportunities to infuse the social skills development concepts into other subject areas.  They could be that quick activity idea to fill a few free moments in your Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science lessons.  Have you ever thought about the science of erupting emotions?  How about the mathematics behind determining consequences?  Regular journaling builds vocabulary and writing skills while providing opportunities to reflect on peer pressure refusal skills and positive peer selection skills.  These skills make children better learners and give them greater ability to interact with others, so keep the learning growing in every subject.

    Involve parents and caregivers. Parental involvement is essential to any child’s healthy development. Activities like Too Good’s Home Workouts bring the learning home to keep parents and caregivers tuned in to what their child is learning and help them practice and reinforce the concepts at home.  Whether it is setting family goals or finding constructive solutions to completing chores around the house, these family activities extend the reach of what is learned in school.  Invite parents and caregivers to write a newsletter articles about how she or he is positively reinforcing SEL skills at home.  Bring parents into the classroom to help facilitate your Too Good lessons and enhance the bond between school and home for your students. The more parents are in tune with what is happening at school, the more your students will engage.

    Promote community connectedness. Social skills are about more than just children interacting with one another. When families and communities are involved in developing these skills in children, they are twice as likely to use and retain them. To promote community connectedness, enlist participation and cooperation from family members, community leaders, school board members and medical professionals. Enlist the media to advocate prevention. Establish a community-wide task force. The Too Good for Drugs and Violence After School Activities offer tools tailored specifically towards enhancing prevention in recreation centers and community after school settings. This means that there are plenty of opportunities to enlist as many community members as possible for the benefit of that communities' children.

    So get ready! A new school year means a fresh start, and there’s no better way to kick off a fun year of learning than to help young learners practice the social skills they will need to succeed as they continue in school and later in life.

  • National Prevention Week – Awareness Leads to Action

    Another important week is upon us! May 14-20 being National Prevention Week, a great time for parents and educators to talk about alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse and prevention. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues.

    The three primary goals of National Prevention Week according to SAMHSA are to:

    • -Involve communities in raising awareness about behavioral health issues and implementing prevention strategies;
    • -Foster partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to behavioral and public health; and
    • -Promote and disseminate quality behavioral health resources and publications.

    The importance of achieving these goals is magnified with summer fast approaching. A study by SAMHSA notes that most teens first try drugs and alcohol during summer. All parents want their teens to fully enjoy their summer vacation, but we all want them to be safe. Thankfully, a recent article on USA.gov about SAMHSA and National Prevention Week outlined a host of resources for parents and educators to help prevent risky behavior including:

    • -Marijuana Myth busters from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens
    • -Videos and games for kids teaching them about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs
    • -Tips about discussing underage drinking

    Prevention is a necessary tool that requires continuous awareness and action. The mission of the Too Good for Drugs programs, SAMHSA and its partner organizations is to provide the tools necessary to to put alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse prevention into action for the benefit of our youth. Specifically, Too Good for Drugs for Middle and High School are designed to mitigate risk and build protective factors so that teens are more likely to make healthy decisions and refuse negative peer pressure and influence. And National Prevention week is the time where those healthy decisions must be promoted to our youth.