SEL Awardee

Colleen LaHatte

Crookshank Elementary School
St. Johns County School District
St. Augustine, FL
“The vision for our project is to create an outdoor space where students can practice mindfulness, participate in Social Skills lessons, and interact with nature. We also want to build community and emotional awareness by creating shades of feelings benches, mindful gardening/nature opportunities, and eventually build a SEL library. Our goal is to foster a love for the outdoors, growing healthy individuals socially and emotionally, while also providing students with the opportunity to give back to the community in a tangible way with the foods harvested. Many of our families live in economically disadvantaged areas, often coined "food deserts". Due in large part to the housing inequities, families often lack access to local grocery stores/supermarkets, therefore lacking access to healthy fruits and vegetables. We wish to not only foster a sense of self-awareness and accountability, but also give back to the community by donating whatever foods we harvest to local food banks or families in need. Creating connection with the natural world brings with it a deeper connection to ourselves, allowing us to be present in the moment and grow our awareness of others as well.”
Tags: Boys and Young Men of Color, Elementary School, Suburban, Teacher, Traditional Public School