Social, emotional learning program implementedWritten by Autumn Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The United Way of Greater Toledo’s Women’s Initiative Annual Luncheon provided benefits of an alternative educational approach called, “social and emotional learning,” that has been applied in a pilot program at a local public elementary school.
During the May 17 luncheon at the Riverfront Hotel in Downtown Toledo, representatives discussed the creation of a program using the educational approach called, “Successful Children, Successful Schools: Social and Emotional Learning in Toledo,” launched locally at East Side Central Elementary School. East Side Central is the first Toledo area school to incorporate such a program, which occurred at the beginning of the 06-07 school year.
Successful Children, Successful Schools: Social and Emotional Learning in Toledo is funded by the Women’s Initiative and involves the additional partnership of Toledo Public Schools, Toledo Federation of Teachers and Toledo Association of Administrative Personnel.
The program has been modeled after similar programs in other communities.
Social and emotional learning has been adopted by Illinois and is under consideration in New York, and has made New Haven, Conn. and its school system “a desired system for parents, educators and students,” according to a news release.
On behalf of the Lucas County Commission, President of the Lucas County commissioners Tina Skeldon Wozniak shared they had made a $5,000 contribution to be allocated toward the program, as she noted the importance of students “working harder at younger ages to become successful adults.”
“We learn from you,” Wozniak said to the Women’s Initiative members present. “We’ll take your guidance as we spend taxpayers’ dollars from now until the future.”
Elizabeth Ruppert, project chairwoman of Successful Children, Successful Schools: Social and Emotional Learning in Toledo, said when making a school-wide intervention such as this program, it is anticipated major and measurable changes such as an improvement in grades will occur within two to three years.
Ruppert confirmed plans and discussions are underway with several schools within the Toledo Public Schools district.
She said she expects to have definite plans established within the next few weeks.
Elaine Burton, principal of East Side Central, said as this is the first year of the social and emotional learning program at the school, it has been “rewarding, as well as challenging” for them.
To accommodate applying the program within the school, Burton said they made an increase in staff and have developed a strategy for students to become “more successful learners.”
Burton said if they could get this program in all elementary and middle schools, it could show students a “better way to address problems.”
Sue Rowe, intermediate special education teacher at East Side Central said the program was “really new” for them. However, she said she “believes in the process.”
The investment from United Way for this program “provides an opportunity for communication that does not ordinarily exist in schools,” she said.