Educating the whole child at Annunciation Catholic School
Recently, you may have heard more about “Social Emotional Learning - SEL”. The focus of SEL is helping support the whole child. As a Catholic School, Annunciation has always been focused on the whole child. Our mission and vision is to help each child become the person God has created them to be - unique and one of a kind.
“Annunciation Catholic School fosters each child’s potential to create a better world through faith, virtue, knowledge, and service to others.”
But today, there is more need to focus on the social/emotional needs. A recent article discusses why this has become so important today:
This article is part of the guide The EdSurge Podcast.
Growing up can be tough. As young people’s bodies and brains are changing rapidly, they’re also grappling with new ideas and influences that will shape who they become. Kids today might actually have it worse, thanks to technology. They’re going through their awkward stages—the braces and bad haircuts and first crushes—on Instagram and Snapchat. And they’re trying to make friends while everyone’s noses are buried in their phones.
Research tells us these things are taking their toll. A 2018 Pew Research Center survey of kids aged 13 to 17 found that 7 in 10 teens think anxiety and depression are major problems for their peers. The same survey found that 6 in 10 kids feel pressure to get good grades while nearly 3 in 10 feel pressure to look good and fit in socially.
Dozens of recent studies tell a similar story. Students today are distracted, they’re under a lot of pressure and they’re suffering from mental health issues more than ever before.
The education community is increasingly getting involved in these issues, looping in social workers, licensed therapists and other mental-health services to help students who are struggling. They often talk about these things in the context of “caring for the whole child” or “teaching to the whole learner.” The idea is that, in order for kids to be successful academically, their other needs must be met, too. That includes their social and emotional needs.
At Annunciation, we have many ways that we support our whole student. This year, we have been able to respond to the increasing need and are beginning a new program. Through the generous support of APO, we have been able to bring “Friendzy” into our school to use during morning meetings to focus on SEL. JOI Friendzy Curriculum is designed to change school culture by offering vital social and emotional learning lessons (SEL) to proactively address aggressive behavior, reduce stress, equip with healthy relationship skills, and improve focus and academic performance, which will increase resiliency for success in school and in life.
Why use SEL curriculum?
Many schools use social-emotional learning to help kids work on things like coping with feelings and setting goals. It also helps kids develop interpersonal skills like working in teams and resolving conflicts.
A school-wide emphasis on social-emotional learning can help reduce bullying and disciplinary incidents.
Our staff has participated in training and will be kicking off the program this month. There are 8 units with themes that we will focus on during the year. The first theme is “WE NEED EACH OTHER”
Look for more information from your child’s teachers and from the school during the year. We are grateful to APO for providing this program for us to continue to support the whole child at Annunciation.