SEL Awardee

Tabathia Baldy

Colquitt County School District
Moultrie, GA
“Famous musician, Yehudi Menuhin once said, "Music makes order out of chaos." Many of our students' lives are filled with chaos. Some live it 24/7 as they battle poverty, food insecurity, abuse/neglect, and other traumatic experiences. This increases the time spent in a heightened state of "flight, fight, or freeze," which makes learning nearly impossible. Further complicating the issue, minority students, particularly Black/African American, are at increased risk of having negative school experiences including disproportionately receiving office discipline referrals, in-school suspension, and out of school suspension and having poor academic outcomes. Even when our schools provide a safe and nurturing environment, it isn't enough for some students. This project will implement a Therapeutic African Drumming program in order to decrease disproportionality for Black/African American students in disciplinary events, increase attendance rates, decrease disciplinary events, increase a sense of belonging, provide a smooth transition from elementary to middle school for students identified at-risk, and increase positive relationships among students and positive adults/peers in the school setting. Through a layered approach, all students and staff in four select schools (with a feeder pattern) will benefit from the Therapeutic African Drumming Program and a smaller number of students identified through multiple data sources will participate in the intensive Therapeutic African Drumming (iTAD) program as a social/emotional learning intervention, learning skills such as teamwork, leadership, self-regulation, stress-management, emotional regulation, as well as musical skills which will allow them to perform for others. iTAD participants will finally experience being in the spotlight for positive reasons.”
Tags: District, Elementary School, Girls & Young Women of Color, Rural, Students Affected by Suspensions, Traditional Public School