Why is it important to give back to the community?
Giving children the opportunity to give back to the community helps them build empathy and a strong connection to their community. The process of giving back also builds many life skills, such as teamwork, goal setting, communication, time management, etc.
“My Best Me” emphasis on community:
The “My Best Me” curriculum dedicates an entire section to community. Helping children build the skills to interact with their community, ask for help when needed and give back when possible. Learning about community helps children learn more about themselves, how to tackle challenges, and most importantly it helps them feel a sense of belonging. Learn more about the features and benefits of the My Best Me curriculum.
15 Easy Ways For Children to Give Back to their Community:
Holiday Food Drive
Organize a community Clean up
Clothing Donation – donate clothes that no longer fit
Start a School Recycling Program
Make a handmade card for a kid’s in hospital
Write a note to send to an old age home
Write a message of thanks to a community hero
Help raise money for a charity by holding a bake sale
Raise awareness about issues within your community
Help at a community garden
Write letters to the troops
Set up a charity for your local animal shelter
Gather and donate old toys you have outgrown
Donate used books or create a book exchange at your school
Build a window display the entire community can enjoy
How to fund Social Emotional Learning in your School
When a school is looking to implement a Social-Emotional Curriculum, such as the “My Best Me” curriculum, one of their main concerns is funding. The good news is that the “My Best Me” curriculum meets federal funding eligibility standards and other state and local grant requirements.
We encourage you to use the following resources to help fund Social-Emotional Learning in your school.
Title Funds:federal funding opportunities for SEL
Title I, Part A—Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies
Title I, Part D—Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk
Title II, Part A—Supporting Effective Instruction (Teacher Training and Teacher Retention)
FundsNet – Database to search for grants sorted by state
Federal Grants – (Keyword- Social Emotional Learning) federal funding filtered by opportunity status, funding type, eligibility, category and agency.
Funding Exclusive to Oklahoma:
EIGO– allows individuals and businesses to get a state income tax credit to help offset the expense specifically for Hope Rising.EIGO is only in Oklahoma and so these benefits only apply to Oklahoma Schools and Oklahoma Income Tax payers.
Students deserve programs that will teach them social-emotional skills that will span beyond the classroom. Teachers deserve the tools and resources to make this process easy and effective.
It is no surprise that in recent years there has been increased attention on the mental health of our students. As schools prepare for another year, it is important to take note of how you can better help your students, families, and staff.
Why implement Social Emotional Learning in the classroom?
Research has shown that SEL promotes self awareness, academic achievement, and positive behavior not only in the classroom but also out of the classroom. Many teachers have implemented some form of SEL in the classroom in recent years.
93% of teachers believe SEL has a place in the classroom and for good reason. SEL helps students thrive but also helps create a more cohesive classroom environment through: fewer disciplinary action, increased academic performance, reduction in classroom disruption and open communication. What the research shows
Why use an SEL curriculum such as “My Best Me”?
Implementing an SEL curriculum like “My Best Me” ensures best practice for best results. Not only that, a good curriculum comes with good teacher support which helps take the stress out of planning and execution. A curriculum takes the guesswork out.
How to choose the best curriculum for your school:
Consider the age: Many SEL curriculums are written for a certain age group. For example, the “My Best Me” curriculum is written for students as young as preschool age, all the way up to highschool. Other curriculum may be written just for high school age or elementary age students.
Does it meet your budget constraints? Of course each curriculum has a cost attached to it and these costs must be taken into consideration when deciding which curriculum is best.
Does the curriculum come with support or training? It is important that teachers are supported when implementing new curriculum. Through training and teachers’ resources. “My Best Me” comes with not only teacher training but also provides teachers with everything they need to implement the lesson in their classroom.
Does the SEL curriculum focus on what is pertinent to your school district and your families? Every SEL program is unique and focuses on different topics. “My Best Me” for example focuses on: Identity, Health, Community, Environment and Economics.
Does the program implement evidence based social emotional learning?
Hats off and cheers to teachers! You did it! If you’re reading this, you survived teaching through a pandemic—uncharted waters. Our appreciation and admiration goes out to you beyond words. All the things you had in place through your education and experience were like a “table cloth trick” yanked away for you to try to keep everything in place on the table with your students learning. Now another school year is in the books!
If you got used to virtual learning/teaching, not so fast, you will more than likely return to your more familiar in-person teaching if you haven’t already. Your rhythms and routines have changed back and forth. Like a chameleon, you have adapted and made it work.
Teachers, The old McDonald’s commercial jingle said, “You deserve a break today…” If anyone has deserved it, it is you!
Here are a few tips to put your school year in the past and enjoy a summer of relaxation and de-stressing:
Treat yourself –You are a survivor and this is an act of self-care. This may mean going to your local ice cream place and splurging on your favorite sundae or purchasing that pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on.
Read a good book – Your time off is a great time to enjoy a book by the pool, on a beach, or on a hammock in the backyard. Your escape to another time or another place through reading distracts you from daily stressors.
Exercise – Go to your neighborhood gym to do your favorite work-out or join a session of fun classes. Keeping your body fit through exercise will release endorphins that improve your physical and emotional being.
Get away from the routines and schedules – If your time and resources can’t afford an out-of-town vacation, spend a night away at a hotel or bed and breakfast. Take a day trip to a great state park or water park.
Make memories – Be intentional about going to lunch with friends and about having fun with children and/or grandchildren. Now is the time, because it slips away so quickly.
Revive an old hobby – Creativity through writing helps to manage emotions. Creativity through drawing and painting expresses emotions. Music is therapeutic in relaxation.
The pandemic took its toll. If your emotional health is in serious jeopardy, please seek out a good counselor to work through this. You are valuable, teacher. Your self-care is important to students and parents alike. Have a blast during this much needed summer break!
Laughter releases outwardly the expression of your soul, lifts your spirit, and gives life and healing energy to your body. The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine.”
What makes you laugh? Is it the giggle of a small child? The punch line of a good joke? A dry sense of humor? Maybe even laughing at yourself or everyday life mishaps?
Did you ever stop to consider what happens when you laugh? Stress hormones decrease; immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies increase improving resistance to disease. It truly is good medicine.
Laughter is like an electric current that runs through our nervous system. It creates great physical responses. Both hemispheres of the brain are activated–the left side decodes the words and the more creative right hemisphere understands the humor. Our emotional system then releases endorphins (natural feel-good chemicals) that improve our mood and promote happiness. Our abs and facial muscles can even benefit from a good laugh impacting our health.
Laughter is the social mechanism by which we make friends and connect with others. The next time, you run into an old friend who says “we need to get together”, do it! Send them a couple choices of dates and places then meet—make it happen! You will no doubt laugh together and leave having experienced all these benefits to your body, soul and spirit.