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April 6, 2018

From the MindShift article by Anya Kemenetz, "What Do We Mean When We Say 'Social And Emotional Skills?" -

"Increasingly teachers who are on the front line say that it's very important to teach kids to be more socially and emotionally competent...Teachers feel - and growing research supports -
that it helps them academically, it improves school climate, it improves discipline, and it's going to help them to be college
and career - and life - ready
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Building Resilience from the Inside Out -
David Kisor and the Early Childhood 

As David Kisor, artist/trainer at Growing Sound[1], took the stage for a breakout session at the 2018 Early Childhood Advantage - A Symposium on School Readiness, he faced a rather large group of early childhood educators, administrators, and community leaders with a smile and a keyboard. 

"...Take your right hand and do a thumbs up, take your left hand and do another thumbs up, now point to yourself and sing I Can Do It" (songs of confidence); ...sing "I Can Count on You" (songs of belonging); ...and sing "I Can Settle Down" (songs of self-control). Each social-emotional song was accompanied by full bodied, targeted motions and came from the "I"/self point of view. 

Growing Sound uses four types of songs - self-talk songs, experiential songs, story songs, and concept songs that are strength-based, principle-based, and adult-modeledInstead of coming from the view that we need to somehow "fix" kids, Mr. Kisor acknowledged the importance of viewing each child as having strengths and showed the audience ways - supported by brain research - to focus on and teach all of our children. 

With research showing that by four years old, 25% of children have had at least one traumatic event or ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience), learning methods that promote resilience in kids can help them throughout their lifetime.[2] "Early social and emotional learning is a key to academic and life success.  Self-awareness, self-assertion and self-regulation are precursors for confidence and competence in defining our role in our world."[3] 

[2] Resilience Theory, Devereux Foundation,
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The Stark Education Partnership - a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Stark County, Ohio -  is a catalyst, engaging and collaborating with education, business, civic and community stakeholders to drive sustainable improvement and innovation to provide all students with education and career success.  

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