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Big Thought and Dallas Independent School District to Receive Wallace Foundation Grant to Foster Children’s Social and Emotional Learning

Big Thought and Dallas ISD will be part of a national effort to help children in six communities gain greater opportunities for social and emotional learning and to understand how schools and out-of-school-time providers can work together to align and improve those opportunities

DALLAS, Texas – (July 24, 2017) – The Dallas Independent School District will share a four-year grant with Big Thought an educational nonprofit that coordinates out-of-school-time creative learning programs for Dallas students. Through the four-year Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, they will focus on implementing social and emotional learning (SEL) during in-school and out-of-school-time, helping children in Dallas develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to be successful in school, work and life. SEL includes knowing and controlling your emotions, understanding and collaborating with others, making positive choices, and demonstrating resiliency.

The initiative supports school districts and out-of-school-time organizations in six communities around the country that have previously decided to include social and emotional learning in their services to children. Programs will be provided to roughly 15,000 children in kindergarten through fifth grade through a phased approach involving up to seven pilot schools in each city.

At the same time, RAND Corporation will conduct independent research on the effort to understand benefits for children – and what it takes to generate them – as well as barriers in the way. This reflects Wallace’s dual goals of creating direct benefits for participating communities and generating credible lessons for the field that can improve the practice broadly.

Last fall, The Wallace Foundation awarded Big Thought and Dallas ISD with a joint planning grant to develop a strategic plan for implementing social and emotional learning both in-school and out-of-school. Dallas ISD and Big Thought were one of nine school district and out-of-school-time partner pairs nationwide that received a planning grant.

“We have been pleased with the collaboration and thoughtfulness that Dallas ISD and Big Thought have shown during the planning phase, as well as with the city’s overall commitment to social and emotional learning,” said Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation. “We look forward to working with Dallas and the other communities in the initiative to learn more about the potential benefits of how schools and out-of-school-time providers can work together to help children build these skills.”

Joining Big Thought and Dallas ISD in this initiative is Dallas Afterschool. As a valued partner and key out-of-school-time intermediary, Dallas Afterschool has played a big role in supporting the development of the SEL strategic plan, and will continue to play an integral part in the implementation of this work moving forward. The Momentous Institute, City of Dallas Parks and Recreation, Commit and many other organizations have also supported the development of the SEL strategic plan for Dallas and will be involved in the implementation.

“Social and emotional learning makes a great impact on students’ academic achievement,” said Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. “We are appreciative of the Wallace Foundation for their belief in the district’s mission of educating all students for success and are excited to continue partnering with Big Thought to help students develop skills needed to be successful in school, work, and life.”

“Big Thought is pleased to be receiving this grant along with our valued partner Dallas ISD, on behalf of the entire Dallas out-of-school-time learning community,” said Ed Meier, Big Thought Interim Executive Director. “We believe that social and emotional learning is a vital component of a student’s success, and we are looking forward to working with Dallas ISD and The Wallace Foundation to support this important initiative.”

Implementation grants for the initiative, which amount in the first year to between $1 million and $1.5 million shared by each district/out-of-school-time intermediary pair, are contingent on the successful negotiation of grant agreements this summer. In addition, participating organizations will also receive other non-monetary support, such as inclusion in a professional learning community, regular convenings with other cities in the initiative, access to a continuous improvement system, communications counsel and other technical assistance.

About Dallas Independent School District
The Dallas Independent School District is continually preparing its more than 158,000 students for college or a career. The district offers a competitive mix of innovative programs, choice programs and instructional initiatives that support the increased academic achievement and socio-emotional development of its students. To learn more, visit www.dallasisd.org

About Big Thought
Big Thought is an education nonprofit that works with partners across the city to ensure all Dallas students have access to high-quality learning opportunities that promote creativity and social and emotional learning to better prepare kids for success in work and life. Learn more at bigthought.org.

Media Contact for Big Thought
Linda Graham
The Power Group
linda@thepowergroup.com
214-498-6313

Media Contact for Dallas ISD
Robyn Harris
Dallas ISD
robharris@dallasisd.org
972-925-3917

Catherine NodurftBig Thought and Dallas Independent School District to Receive Wallace Foundation Grant to Foster Children’s Social and Emotional Learning
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How to Support Big Thought with AmazonSmile

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that mirrors Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice, like Big Thought (hint hint).

Every item available for purchase on www.amazon.com is also available on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) at the same price. Eligible products will be marked as “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Ready to shop? Follow the instructions below and happy shopping!

Step 1) Visit smile.amazon.com and sign in

Step 2) Search and Select Big Thought as your charity of choice

After you’ve signed into AmazonSmile, you’ll be prompted to search for a charity. Type in “Big Thought”

Step 3) Start Shopping!

Bookmark http://smile.amazon.com and use this link every time you make a purchase from Amazon. After you’ve selected a charity, the functionality will be the same, but now Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to Big Thought!

Step 4) Sharing is Caring


Connect your social networks (Facebook and Twitter) so you can share with your friends!

Stephanie DrenkaHow to Support Big Thought with AmazonSmile
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Dallas City of Learning: Neighborhood Resource Initiative

The Neighborhood Resource Initiative (NRI) offers partner organizations the opportunity to submit a proposal to receive resources to enhance existing or new summer programming to be connected with Dallas City of Learning during the summer. Resources include but are not limited to: Financial, Curriculum, Transportation, Professional Development and Facilities. Proposals were reviewed and scored on a rolling basis by an outside Advisory Committee.

We asked that proposals address these three main components:
1) target one or more of the Neighborhood Plus, Neighbor Up or Grow South areas,
2) incorporate social-emotional learning
3) help students access high-quality experiences.

Big Thought was proud to convene our Summer 2017 NRI grant recipients for an orientation last week at Dallas Contemporary.

As a mindfulness exercise, we asked our partners to tell us what brings them to this work. Here are some of the things they had to say!

  • Knowing that I have changed many people’s lives for the better
  • Ability to affect a change in the children and their families’ lives in a meaningful way
  • I do what I do to give back and expose people to opportunities they may not normally see
  • A higher calling/purpose
  • Serving the students in the community and seeing lives changed in a positive manner
  • Jesus, Family, Children
  • Passion. Way of giving back to my community and being a positive influence
  • Make our community better! To be the solution and not the problem!
  • I am here to share my talents and gifts with others. I want to make the economic playing field fair by making my students become bilingual or trilingual
  • To inspire, to advocate, to education, to challenge myself & others
  • The look in the children’s eyes when they realize they have learned something new!
  • Desire to share God’s love with youth and families providing access to services, education, and support in various areas of need
  • Legacy responsibility/Knowledge of self & history
  • Knowing kids have potential that is lost because they don’t have the connections or resources to be the greatness that is within them
  • Passionate about the art form of jazz and trying to keep alive with the youth of today
  • The love and respect of young people
  • Impact youth + staff that work for me
  • My childhood upbringing
  • To impact the lives of young students + parents, introduce to technology industry and STEM
  • The need to help people. The gifts I have to help them
  • I enjoy the gift & reward of positively impacting someone else’s life
  • To put Christian values into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all
  • This is my life’s work. I believe art can change lives and make the world better
  • My momma brought me to this work – to treat others with love + kindness, to engage with others in service + joy, to embrace others in pain + give them hope
  • To spread awareness of issues beyond our narrow sphere – to call people to action & empower them to make a difference
  • Love for learning and sharing of knowledge
  • Being able to show kids a greater educational opportunity
  • Community Sustainability
  • Because I have a passion and purpose to help children discover their “best self”


We are so excited for this summer and to be a part of the amazing work that will be happening in our own city of learning!

Stephanie DrenkaDallas City of Learning: Neighborhood Resource Initiative
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Things to Do with Your Kids During the Summer

Summer is an exciting time filled with fun and exploration! It can also be a time for children to learn a new skill, improve their reading ability or explore the arts. At the Dallas ISD and Dallas City of Learning “Discover Summer” Resource Fair last Saturday, families from all across Dallas discovered hundreds of free and fun summer activities in the city for children of all ages. We asked parents and caregivers to share their advice about things to do with kids during the summer to keep them engaged, learning, and having fun! Here are more than 100 of the tips we collected:

1. Give each child one on one time Go to the park, bowling, watch movies, play sports
2. Make kids busy in learning new things
3. Darles ánimo para fuerce a explorar en algo campamento que nos ofrece el estado de Dallas y asistir
4. En las vacaciones de verano repasamos las tareas de las escuelas y después de completar vamos al parque
5. Take kids to summer camp and have children read books over the break
6. Tomar tiempo para hablar con ellos siempre que podemos
7. Read all the time. Turn off TV and the internet
8. Deporte, ciencia, lectura
9. No cable. Go to the library every Sunday to read!
10. Keep them busy in different activities
11. Lectura, baile
12. Jugar con ellos sentarse en la mesa a comer, platicar de nuestros metas
13. Keep them entertain all summer
14. Mantener mucha disciplina en hacer que aprenden los niños
15. Ejercicio
16. For dance and some music .Listen to your kids
17. Be a good example! Read everyday
18. Keep them and listen
19. Go out and keep them active Read more, more fun activities
20. STEM program
21. Reading. Spending time together. Have fun
22. Trabajos manuales. Leer libros
23. Que apoyan a sus hijos con la lectura es muy importante.
24. Exercise. Stay cool.
25. Buscar actividades de calidad No estar en la casa viendo TV o en el teléfono celular
26. Spend time talking with your child Understand their needs and wants
27. Let kids be kids
28. Each child is an individual and should be treated and respected as such
29. Read and Play “every day for 30 minutes”
30. Pasar tiempo con ellos para jugar, leer, pasar caminar en el parque and hacer trabajos en casa
31. Make learning FUN.
32. Que practiquen más deportes y coman saludables
33. Compartir tiempo de calidad
34. Ensenar a cultivar plantas
35. No dejar que los niños se queden todo el día viendo tele. Busquen actividades para enriquecer sus habilidades.
36. Teach them to have the correct attitude towards learning, teachers and school
37. Parents spend time with kids – water park, zoo, science fair
38. Ayudaremos a nuestros hijos a permanecer en el estudio, enfocarse en cosas positivas, estar activos en deportes. Ya que los mantiene enfocados para no tener tiempo en cosas negativas. Dios los bendiga
39. Motivar a nuestros hijos
40. Read
41. Have fun. Read a lot.
42. They should be responsible, cleaning, learning to cook, learning to draw, reading, writing, play different games, Julie
43. La comunicación es muy importante entre padres y hijos
44. Cuidarlos, quererlos, enjoy every momento with them during the summer
45. Read, Relax. Premade meals and snacks Rhoades Elementary
46. Keep child engaged in activities academic and extracurricular
47. Lo más importante es que ellos tengan actividades con otros niños, actividades variedad que no estén encerrados.
48. Dedicar tiempo a los hijos. Jugar con ellos y escucharles – muy importante
49. Visit public libraries where they offer fun free activities by Gabriela
50. Podrían poner clases para ensenar a nadar a los niños
51. Soy abuela y les quiero decir que cuiden de sus hijos e hijas. Son tesoros especial, ámalos Monica
52. Compartir más tiempo con ellos y hacer actividades juntos
53. Have fun, stay active
54. Hay unas escuelas que tienen parques para los niño y no estén encerrados en sus casa
55. Picnics swimming camping walking the dog in the morning
56. Darles el tiempo para jugar y ayudarles en sus tareas
57. Que participan más los papas con los hijos. Que sigan apoyarlos. Ángela
58. Continúa con lo que han aprendido durante el año. Drill with your babies every day for at least 20 minutes William and Alicia
59. Reading, Outside play
60. Advice Play with your kids outside
61. Pasar tiempo en actividades al aire libre sin tanta tecnología y jugar como lo haría en sus niñez
62. Pasar tiempo de calidad con nosotros Hijos son los más importante para nosotros
63. Darles un buen ejemplo Somos un espejo
64. Interact, communicate, stay active
65. Mantenerse activos y menos televisión
66. Visit the library Perot Museum Local camps waterparks or splash pools
67. Keep them active play outside and do homework
68. Take kids to library
69. Animarlos a seguir estudiando durante el verano y buscar campamentos para ellos. Leer.
70. Feed them healthy meals
71. Enjoy the time with your children. Make memories
72. Keep active and involved Also reading continuously
73. Read! Read! Read!
74. Hacer actividades al aire libre
75. Take your kids to campinvention
76. To be healthy. Be creative
77. Actividades físicas Actividades académicas Visita la biblioteca
78. Go on vacation
79. Read
80. Keep them active and safe, have fun, cherish moments that we share
81. Leer , jugar, ir al parque
82. Keep them active
83. Entretenerse sanamente y con vivir con los hijos
84. What we need to with children during the summer is keep them active, motivated and strengthening in every area
85. Find a great camp, use Khan academy, go camping
86. Con vivir con la familia y hijos
87. Enjoy every time with your kids. Have fun.
88. Keep them active and motivated at all times (Smiling Face)
89. Enroll into summer camps reading programs be active in everything they do.
90. Listen to your kids
91. Make children responsible for their actions
92. The advice I give is spend lots of quality time and love them and of course read to them Edith Lopez
93. Listen to you children Keep them active
94. Educate them teach them about caring sharing, bullying Have lots of fun Angela
95. Read every night to and with your child
96. Keep the kids busy
97. Listen to you kids
98. Work life balance Kid development society contribution
99. De dejar de practicar la lectura durante el verano
100. Help your child to read more books and more books
101. Keep them reading EVERDAY!
102. Get your children out of the house and moving
103. Play outside
104. Que se mantengan ocupados en una actividad o deporte
105. Que los niños lean todos los días aunque estén en vacaciones
106. Ensenarlos a respectar a todos los niños
107. Mi mejor consejo es estar al lado de nuestros hijos y brindar el apoyo que necesitan
108. Ensenarle y que no pierden lo que aprendan
109. Biblioteca, leer juntos para ayudar en el aprendizaje
110. Always make time for the kids
111. Be productive and persistent
112. Working on drawing skills
113. Tiempo de calidad con los hijos, escucharlos
114. La televisión no protege y no educa
115. Disfrutar can los hijos cada día.

To discover more fun and free or low-cost summer activities in your neighborhood, visit DallasCityofLearning.org and start exploring!

Stephanie DrenkaThings to Do with Your Kids During the Summer
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Big Thought Selected by Dallas ISD as Recipient of 2017 Jeanne Fagadau Leading the Charge Award

Education nonprofit Big Thought today announced that it has been selected as a recipient of the Jeanne Fagadau Leading the Charge Award for outstanding support of Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD). This award recognizes organizations or individuals who have been great advocates for Dallas schools and who have expanded and enriched the relationship with the school district.

Additionally, Kristina Dove, senior program manager for partner relations at Big Thought, was nominated for a Partner of the Year award from Dallas ISD this year.

“Big Thought has been a valued partner and collaborator with Dallas ISD for nearly 30 years,” said Tracie Washington, principal at Dallas ISD’s Billy Earl Dade Middle School. “We are delighted to recognize Big Thought’s contributions through its excellent work in coordinating after-school and summer learning programs that add to the education and enrichment of Dallas students.”

The award was presented during the Dallas ISD April 27 board meeting. This year’s award was named in honor of the late Jeanne Fagadau, who was an education visionary and served as president of the National Council of Jewish Women Greater Dallas Section. Ms. Fagadau supported the formation of the School Volunteer Program, an organization that connects volunteers with Dallas schools’ teachers, and she served as the Dallas ISD Volunteer Coordinator from 1970-1980.

“Big Thought is honored to receive this recognition from our long-time partner, Dallas ISD,” said Kristina Dove, senior program manager, partner relations, for Big Thought. “We’ve worked side-by-side with Dallas ISD and the city of Dallas to offer the Dallas City of Learning summer program, and through this program we’ve served more than 50,000 students in the last three years. We look forward to many more years of working together.”

Big Thought focuses on addressing the needs of Dallas children, especially in narrowing the opportunity gap for under-resourced youth, reducing summer learning loss, and promoting social-emotional learning.

Stephanie DrenkaBig Thought Selected by Dallas ISD as Recipient of 2017 Jeanne Fagadau Leading the Charge Award
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In Search of Real Life Women Superheroes

Studio Movie Grill and Warner Bros. Pictures are looking for Real Life Women Superheroes who “go out of their way to make their communities better places, and like Wonder Woman herself, exhibit power, grace, and wisdom.”

The woman with the most compelling story will earn a special advance red carpet screening of the Wonder Woman film, which opens nationwide on June 2nd.

“There is only one Wonder Woman – but there are millions of ‘Real Life Women Superheroes,’” said Brian Schultz, Founder and CEO of SMG. “They fight the battles we sometimes choose not to. They enrich communities, and bring comfort to those in-need and love to those with whom they come in contact. In aspirational times, they are inspirational. It’s time their stories are told and time we recognize those women in our community who, like Wonder Woman, fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.”

Visit http://www.studiomoviegrill.com/womensuperheroes to nominate women in your community who are making our world a better place each day. Nominees could range from a special needs school teacher, to a social worker at an elder care facility, to a community advocate fighting social injustice.

“Govern yourselves with love, kindness, and service to others.”

The nominating process will run through Sunday, May 14th (Mother’s Day) after which a review committee will select the “Real Life Women Superheroes” – one from each of SMG’s 11 markets – to travel to Dallas.

Prior to the film, each will be honored with SMG’s “Opening Hearts and Minds, One Story At A Time” Award and a $1,000 donation to their charity of choice. The award highlights SMG’s commitment to extending its influence past the walls of its theaters with an authentic and clear vision to make the world a better place by opening hearts and minds, one story at a time.

Stephanie DrenkaIn Search of Real Life Women Superheroes
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How To Create a Summer Learning Plan

Chances are that whatever your student might be interested in, there is somewhere in Dallas this summer where they can go to do it! Dallas City of Learning is a citywide initiative to ensure all students have access to high-quality summer learning programs. We encourage you to sit down with your student this spring and create a summer learning plan.

What is a Summer Learning Plan?

A summer learning plan is simply a list of activities, events or programs that your student can participate in over the summer. You and your student can use our free worksheet to create a summer learning plan together. Click here to download.

Why Create a Summer Learning Plan?

Students who participate in learning and enrichment experiences over the summer see significantly more gains in reading and math scores during the school year versus those who do not.  

By discovering and developing their interests, young people can engage with what they are passionate about and can see how things they are interested in are connected to other activities and career paths.

What is Dallas City of Learning?

Dallas City of Learning lets you search through hundreds of free or low-cost summer programs, events and learning experiences that match your child’s interest in a single, easy-to-use website: DallasCityofLearning.org.

From robotics to zoology to workplace internships, Dallas City of Learning provides a wide variety of enriching opportunities for youth of all ages to find new interests, develop new skills, and increase their academic gains achieved during the school year. In other words, it’s a one-stop-shop for summer learning.

Additionally, all Dallas ISD students will be given a Dallas ISD Discover Summer Catalog that they can browse to find opportunities in their area. Visit www.dallasisd.org/summerlearning to learn more about summer opportunities within Dallas ISD.

Stephanie DrenkaHow To Create a Summer Learning Plan
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Big Thought Announces President & CEO Accepts Position with Wallace Foundation

For Immediate Release

Education nonprofit remains active in addressing needs of Dallas children: narrowing opportunity gap; reducing summer learning loss; and promoting social-emotional learning

DALLAS, Texas – Feb. 23, 2017 – Education nonprofit Big Thought today announced that president and CEO Giselle “Gigi” Antoni has accepted a position as the Director of Learning and Enrichment at The Wallace Foundation in New York. The foundation’s mission is to foster improvements in learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and the vitality of the arts for everyone.

“Gigi’s experience and talents are a natural fit for The Wallace Foundation and her selection is a direct reflection of the strength, solidarity and national reputation built by Big Thought’s staff, board, community partners, advisers and donors,” said Pat Porter, board chairman, Big Thought. “In her new role, Gigi will have the opportunity to develop and implement ideas that will impact millions of underserved youth nationally. We wish her well in her new endeavors.”

Ms. Antoni remains with Big Thought through the end of April 2017 before assuming her new role at the foundation after May 1. Big Thought has initiated an interim leader search and has identified several potential highly-qualified candidates. A national search for a permanent leader will launch shortly.

“I’m honored to have played a role in Big Thought’s mission to close the opportunity gap for underresourced children in Dallas,” said Gigi Antoni, president and CEO, Big Thought. “I must say how rewarding it was to hear from key partners and stakeholders who were notified and told us they remain steadfast in their support of Big Thought because of the work we’ve done and will continue to do in addressing the needs of Dallas children.”

“As a partner of Big Thought, Dallas ISD has enjoyed a close working relationship with Gigi over the years and we wish her well in her new position,” said Dr. Michael Hinojosa, superintendent of Dallas Independent School District. “Big Thought is a significant organization in our city and we are committed to working together with the organization on the many successful programs that serve thousands of students in our community.”

Big Thought focuses on addressing the needs of Dallas children, especially in narrowing the opportunity gap for under-resourced youth, reducing summer learning loss, and promoting social-emotional learning.

“We will continue to bring relentless optimism, innovation and imagination to these critical issues,” said Ms. Porter. “We have passionate leadership, a deep and engaged board and a collection of caring, smart employees—many of whom have been with the Big Thought family for years and know where we’ve been, along with new faces lending a fresh perspective. We have more than 330 partners across the city and country providing the highest quality programming in neighborhoods with the greatest need.”

###

About Big Thought
For nearly three decades, Big Thought has worked to innovate education in Dallas by providing youth with access to creative learning programs to help them imagine possibilities, excel academically and contribute to their community. Driven by its mission to make imagination a part of everyday learning, Big Thought develops campus and community based programs that impact academic achievement and address youth development by connecting classroom objectives and traditional teaching methods with arts, culture and creative learning. Through its partnerships, Big Thought serves more than 140,000 Dallas children, families and teachers each year, both in and out of the classroom. Learn more at bigthought.org.

Media Contacts

Linda Graham
linda@thepowergroup.com
214/498-6313

Andy Shane
andy@thepowergroup.com
214/498-4915

Big Thought
Jessica Malek
jmalek@bigthought.org
214/520-0023

Stephanie DrenkaBig Thought Announces President & CEO Accepts Position with Wallace Foundation
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Social Emotional Learning: Developing the Whole Individual

By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager

Social emotional learning, also known as “soft skills,” isn’t a new phenomenon. But it is rapidly gaining momentum nationally as educators, employers and even economists recognize the value of developing the whole individual, not just academic readiness. In this three-part series, we look at social emotional learning from a human interest standpoint, as a burgeoning local and national movement, and as an investment in the future through a grant from The Wallace Foundation awarded to Dallas ISD and Big Thought to create SEL implementation in the district.

Social Emotional Learning At Work

Here’s a story about emotional redemption: A teenager on probation enters the Creative Solutions 2016 summer program at Southern Methodist University. He’s withdrawn, non-verbal, can’t even make eye contact. He has closed off the world in his attempt to hide behind a broken soul.

Two weeks into his work with Creative Solutions, a partnership with the Dallas County Juvenile Department, SMU and Big Thought that teaches performing and visual arts to teen probates, proves cathartic. He suddenly felt comfortable enough to write down his emotions and recount past traumas through poetry.

“A couple more weeks later and he felt safe enough to share those with his mentors,” says Allison Caldwell, Youth Development Specialist at Big Thought. “During the very last week of the program, he decided that he wanted his words published in the poetry anthology and that his poem was worthy of sharing in front of an audience. His voice shook towards the beginning, but his confidence grew as he felt the support from his peers.”

Writing was the salve, the elixir that helped this teenager overcome depression. “His story is the perfect example of the beginning of a journey towards social emotional growth,” says Caldwell. “He reflected on his emotions and experiences, connected with others, and was beginning to learn how to manage his emotions.”

There you have social emotional learning at work, its transformative powers in full throttle. But what exactly is social emotional learning, and why has it become a national buzz phrase in education? According to CASEL, The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, “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.”

Caldwell has spent more than five years applying social emotional learning to her work with Creative Solutions and DaVerse Lounge, the spoken word program for middle and high school students in partnership with Journeyman Ink.

“Social emotional skills exist on a continuum – you can never truly master a skill, rather you continue to deepen your understanding of yourself and your relationships as you practice social and emotional competencies,” she says. “All of our programs at Big Thought are infused with opportunities for kids to develop SEL skills.”

Photo: Creative Solutions students triumph onstage after last summer’s “The Island of Lost Souls” performance at Southern Methodist University. Photo by Can Turkyilmaz @turk_studio.


Big ThoughtSocial Emotional Learning: Developing the Whole Individual
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