Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)

Hi Friends,

First, I want to tell you about an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s (UW-Milwaukee) School of Continuing Education is proud to invite you to their first Trauma in Our Community conference, June 15-16, at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

UW-Milwaukee is bringing together experts in trauma care – educators, practitioners and clinicians – to lead discussions centered on helping people overcome adversity and thrive. This conference is intended for: teachers, school and youth counselors, psychologists, social workers, medical providers, parents and foster parents, and anyone interested in addressing trauma care throughout the healthcare system.

Register today at the early registration reduced price! Early Registration ends May 15.

Also, there is great work being done in Goal 4: Social & Emotional Learning (SEL). This week our own Ari (last name) is here to share her experience at the Community and Social Support Network Lunch and Learn. SEL is integral to the success of every child. Thank you to everyone in our community who is helping to ensure children have the tools to process trauma and the outlets to express themselves.

Take it away, Ari!

See you soon,

March 2, 2017 marked a huge milestone for the Community and Social Support Network (CSSN). CSSN hosted an all-day summit for immediate network members, and opened their doors to community members a “Lunch and Learn.” This luncheon, serving as a “rising of the curtain” on CSSN’s work, included presentations by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) consultant partner, Ruth Cross, and work group committee members showcasing their current projects.

After guests made themselves a plate of food and settled into their seats, Catina, the Goal 4 Manager, welcomed the crowd. She invited Ruth to share about CASEL, including its history, purpose, and some significant research. After Ruth set the stage, it transitioned over to the Committee Workgroup presentations.

Currently, there are four workgroups: Messaging, Outreach/Marketing, Training, and Evaluation. Each of these committees have been working hard, leveraging the skills and talents within each person and his/her corresponding agency, and the guiding words of Ruth, who has been aiding the network with technical assistance via phone, network meetings, and at the all day summit with the luncheon landing in between workshops.

The Messaging committee consists of the true purpose and drive of the work. The presenters shared the newly crafted vision statement for Milwaukee Succeeds’ SEL work: “To inspire and build an inclusive and diverse community that promotes and supports the social and emotional well-being of all individuals to succeed in school, work, and life.” Alongside this vision statement, the CSSN plans to re-write the negative narrative, shifting the conversation from deficits into gains.

The Outreach and Marketing committee spoke to future ambitions for reaching targeted audiences. Included in their presentation was mention of a community-wide Social and Emotional Health campaign to raise awareness to our own social and emotional health. They will be developing the details over the next few months.

The Evaluation committee touched on the current challenges of measuring SEL. First, measurement is going to be the toughest area. However, they have a scope for the work:

  • Short-term: Inputs
    What can we do now to see what organizations are doing currently around SEL?
  • Mid-term: Culture/Climate
    How can we improve current practices to encourage and cultivate an SEL friendly environment?
  • Long-term: Individual
    Data tracking for individuals can take anywhere from 3-5 years, so once the stage is set for this, it can become a reality.

In the meantime, the Evaluation committee will be focusing on identifying effective practices, and their appropriate evaluation tool(s), that organizations can use to immediately and continuously improve their work around SEL.

Finally, the Training committee revealed the planning process for a training and workshop series, focused specifically on Adult SEL competencies. They advocated that adult competency is a first key step in cultivating a socially and emotionally competent community.

Since the SEL movement needs to start with adults, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Am I able to identify my emotions and recognize the relationship between my feelings and reactions to people and situations?
  • Am I able to find ways to manage my emotions and channel them in an appropriate manner?
  • Do I actively listen and grasp another person’s perspective and feelings from both verbal and nonverbal cues?
  • Do I build relationships with members of diverse groups, encouraging open and authentic communication, enabling myself and others to cultivate their own growth?
  • Do I find practical and respectful ways to overcome barriers, even when it comes to making decisions that may not be popular?

Modeling behaviors we want our kids to learn and demonstrate is the first step we can take. Anyone can do it, and it doesn’t require a curriculum or teaching experience.

Warm Regards,

Ari Everts
Social & Emotional Learning Coordinator (VISTA)
Milwaukee Succeeds

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