SEL Awardee

Marsha Vernon

Arturo A. Schomburg Satellite Academy Bronx
New York City Department of Education
Bronx, NY
“Prior to COVID, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade teachers attended training on a social emotional curriculum. With this project, those teachers will focus on three units of the curriculum during the 2021-2022 school year with the goal of explicitly addressing trauma from losses due to COVID and the impact of racial violence within the Black and Asian communities. Using the initial units as a starting off point the teachers will adapt and expand “building community,” “feelings” and “diversity” units in order to weave the concepts more deeply into classroom routines and curriculum. During the first few months of the school year, the building community unit will be enhanced by the use of student-led circles, during which students will meet in small groups to share experiences and challenges. The feelings unit will be elaborated with the use of cozy corners and break stations for children to take mindfulness breaks alone or in pairs. Creative arts materials will also be woven into helping children express, process and share feelings that they experience during the day. Finally the diversity unit will be expanded through the use of read-alouds and book clubs that feature protagonists from a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds. In addition to highlighting and celebrating cultural diversity throughout the curriculum, this unit will focus on advocacy and how to speak out against discrimination using role-plays and bringing local activists to speak to the class. Kindergarten through second grade teachers will plan extension activities collaboratively to ensure continuity of concepts across grade levels.”
Tags: Art & Literature, Culturally Responsive Approaches, Curriculum, Elementary School, Girls & Young Women of Color, Mindfulness, Project-based Learning, Racial, Gender and/or Social Justice, Restorative Practices, Student Engagement, Teacher, Traditional Public School, Trauma-Informed, Urban