Each classroom at Hill receives 1 hour of Character Education/Social Emotional Development Lessons a month from Mrs. Paige, the school social worker. This is a wonderful time for kids to learn about important character traits such as respect, responsibility, and honesty and also to practice growth in self-awareness, emotion regulation, and other social/emotional skills. Much of the 2015-16 school year will focus on finishing a curriculum we began in the previous school year. We are utilizing the evidence-based program MindUp within classroom visits K-4.

Schools that teach character education report higher academic performance, improved attendance, reduced violence, reduction in substance abuse, less vandalism, and fewer disciplinary issues. Read more on this here http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/the-benefits-of-character-education/275585/ In fact, studies have shown immense benefits to enhancing social skills.

A recent study found that kindergartners with strong social and emotional skills were more likely than their peers to succeed academically and professionally. Skills like cooperating, resolving conflicts, listening to other points of view, giving suggestions without being bossy, and others were found to be helpful in lowering future issues such as substance abuse problems, unemployment, arrests, etc. This is according to a 20-year study of more than 750 children until age 25. Read more here http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/kindergarteners-good-social-skills-turn-successful-adults-study-finds/

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Core competencies of social emotional learning and well-being include self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, and relationship skills. Read more about the benefits of social emotional learning at http://www.casel.org/social-and-emotional-learning/.

The U.S. Department of Education defines character education as “an explicit learning process form which students in a school community understand, accept, and act on ethical values such as respect for others, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others.” Effective character education programs lead to healthy school, home,and community environments. (U.S. Department of Education).
Read more about what topics and activities we are currently working on by visiting the School Social Work Blog!

U.S. Department of Education (n.d.). Character education… Our shared responsibility. [Brochure]. Retrieved September 11, 2013 from http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/character/brochure.pdf