I was honored to partner with CASEL on this important discussion series piloted last Spring in which parents came together to discuss their hopes for their parenting and for their children and how they might align those hopes with social and emotional skill building. The pilot with a Chicago Public School community was such an incredible success motivating parent leaders to take action in their own families and in their communities. In fact, six additional Chicago Public Schools will be engaging in this dialogue in the coming year. So this past week, CASEL launched an online guide of the series so that any school community might take advantage of the chance to initiate these potentially transformative conversations.
Families are a child’s first teacher and an essential factor in the cultivation of social and emotional competencies throughout a child’s life. When schools and families work together, they can build strong connections that reinforce social-emotional skill development. In fact, research suggests that evidence-based SEL programs are more effective when they extend into the home. This discussion series was developed to support schools and community partners that wish to engage parents and caregivers in conversations about the social and emotional growth of their families. Each of these eight sessions helps caregivers become more familiar with social and emotional learning and encourages them to actively engage in their own growth while supporting their children to practice social and emotional skills. Each session lasts about 60 minutes and is scripted in both English and Spanish. It is recommended that groups be limited to no more than ten participants to ensure that each participant is able to contribute.
Check it out! Learn more in English! Or check out the Spanish version. If you are a parent or an educator, introduce these to your school community and see if you might find like-minded others who are willing to participate. This is a concrete way to take action and really make a difference!
For this opportunity to collaborate, I am grateful to CASEL, Jo Salazar and most especially, the ongoing mentorship and friendship of Roger Weissberg.
May you and yours feel your own sense of gratitude for your families over the coming weeks! If you celebrate it, Happy Thanksgiving!