Morningside Center works hand in hand with educators to build students’ social and emotional skills, strengthen the classroom and school community, and make our schools more caring and equitable through restorative practices and brave conversations on race.
The seven units in the 4Rs are designed to support the development of these SEL competencies:
Unit 1, Community Building, helps students build a sense of caring and connection in their classrooms.
Unit 2, Feelings, heightens students’ awareness of their own emotions, and those of others, while providing practical strategies for managing strong emotions like anger.
Unit 3, Listening, fosters skills that enable students to understand where others are coming from, learn from them, and empathize with them.
Unit 4, Assertiveness, is about being strong but not mean in expressing one’s needs and in standing up for what one thinks is right
Unit 5: Problem Solving, shows how to resolve issues and handle conflicts in ways that meet the priority needs of both parties.
Unit 6, Diversity, cultivates a sense of one’s own identity, respect for differences, and commitment to standing up to bullying.
Unit 7, Making a Difference, looks how others have brought about change, with the goal of creating positive change in the classroom, school, local community, and beyond.
In New York City, we know that educating our scholars means helping our scholars deal with their academics, as well as with other parts of their lives. It means helping our scholars process their many emotions. It means helping them build relationships and resolve conflicts in a constructive way. It means preparing them to be happy, healthy adults.
Social and emotional learning means creating an educational experience where learning those skills is just as important as how to read or do math. By bringing our SEL efforts to every classroom last year, we created the most comprehensive programming in the nation.
And now, after the stress and disruption our young people have been through in the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever for our scholars to keep learning these skills. Our youngest have spent months isolated from their friends and away from social activities. Our high schoolers have not only witnessed a long-overdue national reckoning on racial injustice—they’ve led the way and challenged our country to be better. And sadly, many of our young people are in pain, grieving the loss of parents and loved ones to this virus.
The Bridge to School SEL instruction is designed not only to help our students through this moment—but to help them build the emotional skills they’ll need for the rest of their lives.