The SEL Blog
Our school serves immigrant and refugee students who have recently arrived in the United States. As previous recipients of the SEL Innovation Award, we partnered with the Art Therapy Institute of North Carolina (ATI) to provide art therapy with a general SEL focus to students in several classrooms while building the capacity of staff to continue similar activities with other students. With this project, we would like to further build on this work with ATI with a specific focus on trauma and the creation of multiple natural spaces on our campus. We plan to work with ATI to develop the entire staff's capacity to integrate a variety of arts-based strategies to more fully create trauma-informed classrooms. We plan to develop both indoor and outdoor natural spaces to be available for individual students or classes. These spaces will help provide both grounding and restorative opportunities for our students. We plan to work closely with students to provide them the opportunity to design and develop these spaces. Throughout the year, as teachers implement the arts-based strategies and utilize the natural spaces, students will have multiple opportunities to create art pieces and projects. Additionally, the school will be beginning new student clubs in the 22-23 school year, and we plan to integrate arts and nature-based SEL into the clubs. We plan to showcase the work created by our students at a local venue, allowing the students an opportunity to present their work to the community.