Committee for Children Blog

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. It’s our responsibility to use predictive skills to understand another’s feelings and utilize those skills in order to disagree respectfully as we work to engage in a productive exchange.  As a blog on Education Week’s website notes on January 29, “minds and hearts don’t open when we teach ‘us’ and ‘them’. They open when we understand how others think and feel about things”. Rep Kloba noted during the lesson that “The disagreeing respectfully checklist is actually in the House (of Representatives) rules.”

Rep. Senn opened the session with the statement “Homeless youth need SEL. Foster kids need SEL. We all need SEL. SEL is something that provides foundational benefits that will be helpful throughout your life. SEL resonates with me on every level and I am thrilled that we get to participate in today’s mini-SEL lesson.” Joan Duffell, the Executive Director of Committee for Children, recognized that “Washington State schools are on the vanguard of SEL due in large part to the legislators who have supported this important issue.”

Baionne Coleman, lesson presenter and Student Life Director and Social Emotional Learning Coordinator at St. Luke’s School in Shoreline, noted that social emotional  skills are essential to manage face-to face interactions and can also help influence and moderate one’s social media communications.  With four children of her own, and currently completing her Master’s in Education, Baionne knows the importance of good communication.

Last week, Rep. Senn introduced House Bill 1518 that would increase the year around availability of social emotional learning by increasing the number of ECEAP slots and providing grants to summer learning programs. The hearing on this bill is not yet scheduled, but you can submit a comment on the bill to your legislators here.