Tuesday, April 28, 2015

#ChooseKind Wonder Kits are an SEL Tool for Schools

One of CCA's main programs is to promote the #ChooseKind message in schools across the US. CCA families, teachers, guidance counselors, and school districts are bringing #ChooseKind Wonder Kits into their classrooms to help all students develop empathy for one another, accept each other's differences, and create healthy friendships. RJ Palacio's best-selling novel Wonder is an excellent tool for starting the conversation in your school or club. 

In addition to CCA's #ChooseKind Wonder Kits, CCA maintains a list of other resources for educators and parents to utilize. CCA also participates in the larger, national conversation about bullying prevention in schools and online. One method to make schools a safer, kinder place for students is teaching Social & Emotional Learning in the classroom using a variety of resources.

Social & Emotional Learning is defined by CASEL as:
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. SEL programming is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that make learning challenging, engaging and meaningful. 
Social and emotional skills are critical to being a good student, citizen and worker; and many risky behaviors (e.g., drug use, violence, bullying and dropping out) can be prevented or reduced when multiyear, integrated efforts are used to develop students' social and emotional skills. This is best done through effective classroom instruction; student engagement in positive activities in and out of the classroom; and broad parent and community involvement in program planning, implementation and evaluation. 
Effective SEL programming begins in preschool and continues through high school.
To learn more about SEL, watch this video from Chicago Public Schools on their successful implementation of SEL and how tools like CCA's #ChooseKind Wonder Kits can reduce bullying in schools by modeling empathy and kindness to students. 
CCA strongly believes that our #ChooseKind Wonder kits are an excellent example of SEL and we are seeking to sponsor more classrooms with these kits. Why is Wonder so powerful? Well, as one Marcus Garvey Elementary School teacher said, "It's a lot of stories about feelings." And CCA believes that Wonder poignantly illustrates the feelings of living with a craniofacial difference. 

If you would like to help bring Wonder to your school, please visit CCA's Bring Wonder to Your School webpage and contact the office. Let's help students across the nation not only #ChooseKind, but also develop lifelong skills to lead fulfilling lives. 

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