SEL Awardee

Angie Slatton

School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties
Irmo, SC
“In 2021, District Five recognized the need to address the challenges brought on by Covid-19 that impacted students with disabilities in a myriad of ways. The level of disruption to the lives of students since the start of the pandemic has been immense. Learning environments, social relationships, and work environments have all changed and required students to learn an entirely new set of social and emotional skills for navigating a virtual (and socially distanced) world. At the same time, opportunities to connect with peers have been limited which has made it harder for students to adapt to the changes. For this reason, District Five partnered with Able South Carolina (Able SC) to launch Equip Club, a youth-driven peer leadership group for students with disabilities in grades 9-12 to connect and engage, explore topics of interest, and establish leadership and self-advocacy skills as they navigate life transitions. In less than one year, Equip Club has made a profound impact on the social and emotional well-being of students. Our students are more confident, engaged, and have expressed higher levels of self-determination within their school, work, and home environments. As we look ahead we recognize our impact could be greater if we focus on three specific areas: offer continued training and support for student leaders and club members; provide club members with opportunities for mentoring younger students in middle school; and provide training for school faculty, families and community service providers on the purpose and value of student self-advocacy.”
Tags: Boys and Young Men of Color, District, Girls & Young Women of Color, Middle School, Students with Disabilities, Suburban, Traditional Public School