About Our Work

The Education First and NoVo Foundation Partnership

Social and emotional learning (SEL) refers broadly to the practices, processes and strategies through which students, and adults, gain crucial skills such as responsible decision-making, self-awareness, understanding and management of emotions, and empathy. Many teachers have long known that SEL skills are absolutely critical to students’ ability to master academic content – and to their futures as healthy, productive adults.

The NoVo Foundation and Education First are proud to be in deep partnership with a national movement for social and emotional learning. We seek to build momentum for high-quality SEL practices through education, technical assistance and networks. Here are some of the efforts we have supported:

  • Together and with the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), we support and coach the Collaborating Districts Initiative. The CDI consists of 10 districts, reaching a million students, supported by our organizations to implement and share the sustainable and systemic changes that will help students grow critical social and emotional skills.
  • In 2016, the NoVo Foundation and Education first launched the SEL Innovation Fund to support teachers with fresh ideas and creative strategies to incorporate social and emotional learning into their classrooms and schools. Through the Innovation Fund, NoVo and Education First awarded over $1 million in grants to teachers and districts to support their efforts to address student trauma, build adult SEL skills, celebrate cultural diversity and other goals.
  • In 2017, in partnership with the NoVo Foundation, Education First released the publication Social and Emotional Learning: Why Students Need It. What Districts are Doing About It. The publication focused on what the implementation of social and emotional learning looks like at the school district level. The publication identified six key areas for successful implementation of SEL at the district level and highlighted SEL practices in  Anchorage School District in Alaska, Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut and Sacramento City Unified School District in California.

Now, we aim to illustrate great SEL teaching practices, to inspire and support teachers in all kinds of different contexts. And to elevate excellence in the classroom, this microsite seeks to show, rather than just tell. Here, you’ll find videos of real classrooms, interviews with educators, and links to the real-life materials that can be adapted for professional learning and classroom use around the nation.

The NoVo Foundation: Advancing social and emotional learning

NoVo Foundation is dedicated to building a more just and balanced world. Created in 2006 by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, NoVo seeks to foster a transformation from a world of domination and exploitation to one of collaboration and partnership. The Foundation partners with movement leaders working to advance adolescent girls’ rights, end violence against girls and women, promote social and emotional learning, support Indigenous communities and advance local living communities. Across all of its work, NoVo supports the development of capacities in people—individually and collectively—to help create a caring and balanced world.

To learn more, visit: http://www.novofoundation.org.

Education First: Focusing on what matters

Education First is a seasoned team of trusted advisors to the leaders responsible for delivering what many Americans want most: public education that effectively prepares all students for success in college, careers and a world of constant change. We devote our energy and expertise to improving opportunities for all children, especially low-income students and students of color. Each day, we demand excellence from ourselves so that our contributions to our clients and the field result in sustainable progress in classrooms, schools and school systems.

This project was produced by Katie Cristol, Chad Rubalcaba and Anand Vaishnav of Education First, together with Seattle-based partners ProMotion Arts and Ross Hogin Design.

To learn more about Education First, visit http://education-first.com.


Top banner photo courtesy of McMurray Middle School SIFE Team