SEL Awardee

Aneesah Blount

Van Ness Elementary School
DC Public Schools
Washington, DC
“Now more than ever due to COVID students are lacking peer-to-peer connections. Even though students have a loving-trusting adult in their classroom, they are struggling to build empathy and connection with their peers. Through this cross-grade level year-long buddy project, kindergarten classrooms will be paired up with 3rd or 4th-grade classrooms. During this program, students will meet weekly to work on social-emotional and academic skills. They will also work on real-world projects to help solve problems in their school and community. To end the year, the buddy classrooms will create a school-wide program such as STEM Day or Field Day. Such an easy structure to implement can have a strong impact on students' social-emotional development. This is also a program that any school can implement to build cross-grade-level connections for students. Kindergarten students will receive one-on-one attention from an older buddy and older buddies will have opportunities to practice and teach problem-solving skills to others. Research has shown that students who have strong social-emotional skills have better academic performance and school behaviors.”
Tags: Boys and Young Men of Color, Elementary School, Teacher, Traditional Public School, Urban