SEL Awardee

Cynthia Torres

PL Dunbar
Bridgeport Public School/ Nadira Clarke
Bridgeport, CT
“DRS brings back a classic physical activity that will spark joy, keep kids active and build community while teaching social skills. Dunbar Roller Skates (DRS) will work across grade levels, 3rd-8th, after school to combine rollerskating and SEL groups. Two different forms of SEL groups will be run to build on social skills, address community inflicted trauma and provide support and community for students and families. CBITS/Bounceback is a trauma-informed intervention specifically created for those who've experienced trauma. Rollerskating is just a perk of the programming as it provides a healthy and active outlet for all and incorporates intentional joy in movement. Our SEL groups run in conjunction with free rollerskating lessons and free skate time. We are aiming to engage students beyond the conversation. By providing them with the tools that we talk about in social skills groups such as; how to preserve, intentional joy, and how to care for ourselves when things are difficult. Often we teach SEL in hypothetical scenarios and hope that our lessons, the strategies we provided resonate with our students. When we combine two spaces, SEL and something like rollerskating we are combining two worlds. We can immediately show students what we meant. If our social skill for the week is a growth mindset, we tie that back into rollerskating, it can be learning a new trick or skating a lap without falling. Our mindset and effort are what we are teaching in those SEL lessons.”
Tags: Boys and Young Men of Color, Elementary School, Teacher, Traditional Public School, Urban