Your child’s social and emotional health is just as important as their physical health. Social emotional health significantly affects a child’s overall development. learning and well being. In fact, studies by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation state that an important component of early school readiness and healthy child development is meeting a child’s social-emotional needs in preschool. Moreover, they note that emphasis on social emotional learning (SEL) in preschool can enable children to thrive academically, mentally, and physically in kindergarten and through to adulthood.
At Wonderspring, promoting the social and emotional health of the children we serve is a top priority and is infused in every part of the day. Last year, through grants from William Penn Foundation and PNC Foundation, Wonderspring was able to purchase and implement the Second Step Social Emotional Curriculum at all its centers. Utilizing weekly themes songs, activities, puppets, and posters, Second Step helps children better understand, manage and express emotions and empathy, develop positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. All Wonderspring teachers have been trained on the Second Step Curriculum and receive ongoing technical assistance to help them integrate the program in their classroom routines.
Since implementing the program, teachers report they are better able to handle challenging behaviors and utilize positive behavior management strategies. They also note that the children are better able to identify their feelings and utilize a variety of calming techniques for their minds and bodies.
Angela Giuliani a preK teacher at the Narberth center is extremely enthusiastic about the curriculum. “It has improved the overall tone of the classroom,” she says. “The children are more empathetic because it helps them recognize the feelings of their friends and makes them think about ways they can help. They love role playing with the puppets and using the puppets to talk through problems. It gives them the confidence that they know the answers. Then, when we give them positive feedback for implementing what they learn, it reinforces that confidence.”
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