SEL Awardee

Donna Jacobson

Russell Westbrook Why Not? High School
Los Angeles, CA
“Funding will further the development of a partnership between Russell Westbrook Why Not? High School, Russell Westbrook Why Not? Middle School (known collectively as Westbrook Academy) and the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF). With current SEL in Action funding, CRF designed a 6th-12th grade civic engagement model based on their Civic Action Program (CAP), an 8-10 week project-based learning model through which students work in groups to learn civics by addressing real issues in their communities that they identify, deepening understanding of how those issues are connected to public policies, and taking meaningful civic actions to affect those policies. Students will broaden and sharpen their SEL skills each successive year, giving them a solid foundation of civic engagement that prepares them to be active leaders in the fight for social change as they move into adulthood. CAP is integral to Westbrook Academy's whole child focus, aligned with our vision to develop athletes, activists and academic achievers. It is key to our SEL approach, backed by research showing the connection between civic engagement and SEL. CAP integrates principles of "transformative SEL" Jagers, Rivas-Drake and Williams, 2019) by building intrapersonal (self-awareness, self-management), interpersonal (social awareness) and institutional (relationship skills and responsible decision making) skills. Through CAP, students also will receive California's new State Seal of Civic Engagement. A UCLA study of early SSCE implementation is that activities connected to earning the SSCE should be woven into the infrastructure of the school. CAP is a key vehicle through which we can accomplish that.”
Tags: Charter School, District, ELs, Middle School, Urban