Committee for Children Blogs

Welcome to our own little corner of the blogosphere! This is the place to read about all things social-emotional learning related from the points of view of parents, teachers, and school psychologists. Happy reading!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tap Into Empathy and Respect and You Can Connect

Author: Kim Gulbrandson

Communication is the key to many aspects of life. By teaching important social skills like listening and empathy, educators give students the tools to respectfully interact with their peers and the adults in their lives.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Teaching Civility During Divisive Times

Author: Melissa Benaroya

Can skills like empathy, problem solving, and perspective taking help nurture civility in our children? CFC's parenting expert Melissa Benaroya believes so. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Annual Advocacy Day - A Success!

Author: Carol Wood
On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, Committee for Children held their annual Advocacy Day. In spite of snow, sleet, and rain (no flooding or pestilence, thankfully), CFC took a hearty crowd of 20 people to meet with 34 legislators and/or their staff. We were very lucky to have a number of young people go with us this year as well; they are always the stars of the show!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Preparing Students for Tough Conversations

Author: Kim Gulbrandson
From childhood to adulthood, conversations have an impact on daily life. We communicate every day, many times a day, and the skills we use to talk with others determine whether the outcomes of these interactions are good or bad.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

CFC Presents an SEL Lesson Using Second Step Program for WA State Legislators

Author: Carol Wood
On January 26, Committee for Children presented a mini SEL lesson using their Second Step curriculum for Washington State legislators and their staff.  The lesson helped those attending see that everyone comes to a discussion with different perspectives.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Make Motivation Easy

Author: Kim Gulbrandson
Motivation is a mediator for academic and social success, so what can we do as adults to foster motivation in students? We can provide conditions that facilitate motivation through a strength-based perspective. My colleague often says, “People are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole”, which speaks to why we need to support students and not try and “fix” or blame them for not being motivated.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ring in a Healthier You for the New Year

Author: Kim Gulbrandson
What’s on the Top of New Year’s Resolution Lists This Year?

I wanted to know, so I interviewed 25 friends and family members about their top two resolutions and this is what I found: almost half of the people I asked have at least one New Year’s resolution about living a healthier and happier life. Some of the resolutions I heard included getting together more with friends, managing stress better, getting organized, living a healthier lifestyle, not getting upset so easily, taking better care of oneself, being happier, and not worrying as much.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ideas to Boost Student Motivation in 2017

Author: Kim Gulbrandson

Why do some students stop using their social-emotional learning (SEL) skills after they’ve learned them? The answer to this question has a lot to do with us, the adults, and not just the students. We need to offer ongoing support to students to help them use their SEL skills. Modeling, practice, and positive feedback play a role in this, but if we stop there we miss something important: motivation.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Building on Martin Luther King’s Powerful and Profound Empathy

Author: Committee for Children

What role do educators play in creating a more empathetic world? ? In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day, Committee for Children’s executive director Joan Cole Duffell and Dr. Calvin Watts, superintendent of the Kent School District have written a gripping op-ed in an effort to urge school systems and the country at large to do the work that’s needed to build on Dr. King’s profound and powerful level of empathy. 

Saturday, January 07, 2017

5 Strategies to Accomplish Your 2017 Goals

Author: Kim Gulbrandson

It is that time of year again—the time when we start to aim for improvement! There is something about the new year that makes us feel renewed and gets us thinking about change.

I remember the first new year I truly started thinking about my goals. I asked someone who had achieved the success I hoped for someday, what the secret was to realizing my long-term goals. She told me, “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.

Friday, January 06, 2017

New Year, ReNEWed Focus on Social-Emotional Learning at Home

Author: Melissa Benaroya

The new year is the perfect time to set some goals for enhancing your child's social-emotional learning skills.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Two Policy Approaches Your State Can Take

Author: Carol Wood
On January 26, 2017, Committee for Children will partner with Representative Tana Senn to bring social-emotional learning (SEL) to the halls of the Washington State Legislature. Using Committee for Children’s Second Step curriculum, an experienced Washington teacher will deliver a demonstration lesson to members of the legislature to show the dramatic impact SEL could have on the lives of Washington’s children.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Embrace Grit Through Social-Emotional Learning and More

Author: Kim Gulbrandson
In my last blog post I talked about grit and having the passion and perseverance for achieving long-term goals. The first step to building grit is knowing what it looks like, but because grit is partially fostered by experience (see Angela Duckworth’s questions and answers about grit), in this post I also consider the “how to” of building tenacity and perseverance.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Holiday Stress Buster

Author: Melissa Benaroya

Can social-emotional learning help combat holiday stress? Absolutely! Check out Melissa Benaroya's blog all about it. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Teaching Empathy, Respect, and Compassion over the Holidays

Author: Melissa Benaroya

CFC blogger Melissa Benaroya has put together a great list of SEL-focused ideas to get families started with volunteering and giving opportunities this holiday season. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Look at Grit

Author: Kim Gulbrandson

Humans are creatures of habit. If you quit when things get tough, it gets that much easier to quit the next time. On the other hand, if you force yourself to push through it, the grit begins to grow in you. —Travis Bradberry

It happens time and time again, often without notice. Successful people spend years overcoming challenges and difficulties before they reach their biggest accomplishments.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Trending Topics in Education and How they Relate to SEL

Author: Kim Gulbrandson
Pop quiz! Which of the following buzzwords have you heard about lately?

A. Grit
B. Growth Mindset
C. Mindfulness
D. Resilience

If you selected any of the words above and you are wondering more about them or about how they relate to social-emotional learning (SEL), keep reading.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Grit, Growth Mindset, Mindfulness: Are These Trending Topics of SEL?

Author: Kim Gulbrandson

Social emotional learning (SEL) is trending in education. The last 15 years of research has shown the many benefits to teaching SEL, such as reductions in violence and truancy and gains in academic test scores.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Author: Melissa Benaroya

Is giving thanks something we can do on a daily basis with and around our children? Absolutely! CFC's parenting blogger Melissa Benaroya walks us through just how to do it.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Social-Emotional Learning After Our Election

Author: Committee for Children

A post-election note from our executive director Joan Cole Duffell.

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CFC Presents an SEL Lesson Using Second Step Program for WA State Legislators

On January 26, Committee for Children presented a mini SEL lesson using their Second Step curriculum for Washington State legislators and their staff.  The lesson helped those attending see that everyone comes to a discussion with different perspectives.
Read more
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Annual Advocacy Day - A Success!

On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, Committee for Children held their annual Advocacy Day. In spite of snow, sleet, and rain (no flooding or pestilence, thankfully), CFC took a hearty crowd of 20 people to meet with 34 legislators and/or their staff. We were very lucky to have a number of young people go with us this year as well; they are always the stars of the show!
Read more
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