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!

Published on Friday, April 7, 2017

Keeping Kids Safe with Conversations

prevent child abuseChild sexual abuse is prevalent yet silenced.’ These are the words that most stuck with me after listening to an introduction of the play Telling, which unveils stories from adult survivors of sexual abuse. The ‘silence’ part of this is even more jolting given that 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 20 boys will be sexually abused by the time they are 18, and that it is usually by someone they know.  Because it can happen to anyone, including someone close to us, we all need to be willing and prepared to unsilence child sexual abuse through our communications. One way to do this is by listening and talking; having regular conversations about safety and abuse with other adults and your children.

There are many free resources available to guide these conversations, on where to begin, what to say and how to say it. Start with the Early, Open, Often ‘Talk About it’ resource, for which videos are available in both Spanish and English. These are just a few of the important highlights, and remember that although it may feel like bumbling at first, it gets easier with time and practice.

Ask me, tell me, no secrets
This video on ‘How to talk with kids about sexual abuse’, reminds us to tell them to ask us before spending time with another adult, and tell us and not keep secrets if anyone tries to touch their private parts. 

Use everyday moments
Use books to help teach and talk about private body part safety, and take advantage of teachable moments when questions or opportunities arise, such as during bedtime or before going somewhere with another adult.

Teach the safety rules
Talk about the 5 ‘it’s never okay’ safety rules for private body parts, regularly mention them as part of the other family safety rules, and tell kids never to keep secrets that break these safety rules.

Talk to kids of all ages, and adults
Kids - It is never too early or too late to talk with kids about child sexual abuse. Check out these guidelines for how to vary conversations for kids of differing ages. Keep asking questions

Adults - If you tell others you have talked to your child and one of those people is a potential offender, this person may be less likely to act, knowing it will be easier to get caught. Still wondering what to say and when and how to bring it up? This resource on talking to other adults will help.

No matter how uncomfortable it may feel to have these conversations, remember the payoff: talking is the best way to keep kids safe. Talk about it, a lot-------Listen-------Ask questions. 

Talking is not a one-time thing. It is something you do, always.


«July 2017»

Meet the Makers of Our New Middle School Program

Curious. Active. Egocentric. Argumentative. Inconsistent. Restless. Moody. Optimistic. Rebellious. Hopeful. Introspective. At-risk. Idealistic.

Sound like someone you know?

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What SEL and Academics Look Like Together: The New Second Step Middle School Curriculum

Social-emotional skills are essential for academic success. For example, there are many connections between social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies and mathematics. To solve mathematical problems, students need skills such as perseverance and determination. They need to self-evaluate, communicate arguments, stay calm when facing challenging problems, recognize when they lack knowledge to solve a problem, and seek help from others in tough situations. Useful skills for any subject!
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Summer Sanity Series - Part 2 Keeping Your Summer Fun On Track

Summer is in full swing now and everyone is embracing the sunshine and the warm weather. With all the fun summer activities, parents tend to get a little more relaxed in their parenting. Being a bit more flexible and going with the flow can be wonderful and liberating, unless you are undoing the habits you worked so hard to maintain the rest of the year.
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Meet the Makers of Our New Middle School Program

Committee for Children takes great pride in how we develop our Second Step program. We not only take the most current research in the field and translate it into lessons that use best practices in pedagogy, but we take pains in designing those lessons to be user-friendly. The melding of these components results in a program that is effective, well received, and reaches millions of children each year.
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ISTE 2017 Conference & Expo Recap

A few members of the Committee for Children (CFC) team had the privilege of attending the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference and Expo in San Antonio, Texas June 25-28. Rachel Kamb, a Product Manager here at CFC, also presented a session with Gary Goldberger and Leigh Hallisey of FableVision Studios titled ‘Empathy Empowers: Digital Learning Strategies’.

Read Kamb’s review of ISTE 2017 as well as a summary of the session, below.  

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The Bully Pulpit

Fifteen years ago, few states had explicit legislation aimed to reduce bullying. Today every state in the country has adopted policies to minimize bullying. Overall, 28% of students reported victimization in 2005 (when statistics were first collected) while 22% reported being victimized in 2015 (U.S. Department of Education).
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Teacher Health and Wellness: Fostering Student Achievement by Supporting Teachers’ Mental and Physical Well-being

On June 14, 2017, Committee for Children and the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) held a briefing on teacher health and wellness that was attended by over 30 people from congressional offices, national nonprofits, and academia.
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Middle School Students and Teachers Reveal How the Second Step Middle School Program Fosters Academic Success

Students and teachers from diverse classrooms across the country reported connections between social and emotional learning (SEL) and academics during their interviews about the new Second Step Middle School curriculum after piloting it in their classrooms. They shared many different examples of how the social skills learned in the new Second Step Middle School curriculum contributed to academic success.
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Meet the Makers of Our New Middle School Program

An exciting part of the early design work we did on our new Second Step Middle School Program was traveling around the country speaking to educators about what they needed from us. One thing we learned is there is tremendous diversity in the students we’re reaching, tremendous diversity in how the program is delivered, and that whatever we create needs to be flexible enough to work in many different situations.
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