SEL Awardee

Katherine Batty

Champlain Valley School District
Shelburne, VT
“The "Empower Youth Leadership Project" creates opportunities for middle school students to become SEL leaders. The backbone of the project includes day-long Empower Youth Leadership Conferences. For six years, Mary Muroski and Katherine Batty have brought together adolescents to develop social/emotional and leadership skills in centralized, community-based settings. With the generous support of Education First/NoVo, we have successfully scaled our efforts and connected students from towns across the state. Our collaboration with the Children's Legacy Partnership Foundation (a non-profit organization that aims to provide comprehensive education to students in Uganda) via virtual chat sessions help students gain global perspective as they compare their world views with those of Ugandan students. With the added stressors of a global pandemic, we have integrated the learning from the conferences back into schools using both technology and in-person meetings. By building a commitment between our five district schools, with the creation of Empower Youth Leaders groups, we emphasize the importance of applying the SEL and leadership skills learned at the EYLP conferences in students' home communities. The Empower Youth Leaders from across the district will work together to revise our mission and vision statements, create a cohesive work plan, facilitate community-based service projects, teach SEL lessons to k-2nd grade students, implement fund-raising efforts for our partner school in Uganda, and support three school-based or place-based EYLP conferences. Our goal for the future is to build on these projects and to continue to unify our district through social-emotional learning envisioned by student leaders.”
Tags: District, Middle School, New Arrivals, Suburban, Traditional Public School