Committee for Children Blog

Inside Out: A Parent’s Guide to Viewing & Teaching SEL Skills

The recently released Pixar/Disney film Inside Out is a wonderful opportunity for families not only to enjoy an entertaining movie together, but also to have really valuable conversations about the importance of all emotions, what purpose they serve, and how best to express them. Movies such as Inside Out can serve as a valuable tool to teaching social-emotional learning (SEL) and enhance verbal skills when parents are thoughtful about the conversations they have with their children before, during, and after viewing such a film together.

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We Are the Champions: Parent Support of SEL Programs

As a parent of elementary-aged children, I’m always finding myself ruminating over issues that, pre-kids, I never knew existed. For example: the importance of whether and how our school rolls out new and sensitive programs about such hot topics as drugs and alcohol, puberty, or bullying prevention. Read More

Pencils Down: Helping Kids Overcome Test Anxiety

by Emilie Coulter

Stomachaches, headaches, reluctance to go to school, outbursts of tears or anger, sweaty palms…

Big worries, little people

Children, some as young as kindergarten-age, suffer from a particular kind of anxiety, the source of which is not going away any time soon. According to Teachers College at Columbia University, American kids take more than 100 million…Read More

The (Near) Future of Abuse Prevention: A Conversation with Joan Duffell

Child Abuse Prevention Month (April) is just around the corner, so PR Manager Allison Wedell Schumacher sat down with Joan Cole Duffell, executive director of Committee for Children, to talk about the organization's past, present, and future in abuse prevention, and about our new Child Protection Training that will be released later…

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It’s Never too Late for Bullying Prevention

by Emilie Coulter

The tenth anniversary of No Name-Calling Week is a good time to remember that it’s not too late to adopt a bullying prevention program in school. In fact, many educators and others who work with children believe that bullying often increases in the second half of the year, due in part to accumulated academic and social frustrations, concerns about upcoming transitions, and anticipation of summer.

Scott Poland, Ed.D.,…Read More

Good Girl Gone Bad?

My almost-eight-year-old daughter is a Good Girl at school. You know what I mean. A joy to have in the classroom. Courteous, fun, friendly, attentive to her work. Don’t get me wrong; Etta can be a disaster at home. All day long she’s steadily squeezing that appropriate behavior out of her system like a new tube of toothpaste, and by 4:30 or 5, she’s got nothing left for us. Then she has her moments, and they can be doozies. Temperamentally, though, she is a kind, generous soul.Read More

Anatomy of Anger

Something happened this week that made me very angry. I won’t go into the gory details. It’s enough to know that it was a letter from my children’s elementary school about a new initiative the district was rolling out without allowing parental involvement. Here follows my step-by-step process of Getting Angry.Read More

Book Review: Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

by Gary D. Schmidt
Reading level: Grades 6–9

Turner Buckminster is not having a good time in his new home. In 1912 Phippsburg, Maine, starched collars and a reserved demeanor is de rigueur for the minister's son, even one who is 13 and eager to explore the wonders of the coastline.
Turner gets into one scrape after another, earning the disapproval of just about everyone in town…until he meets a soul mate,…Read More


by Gordon Korman
Reading level: Grades 6–9

At age 13, Cap (for Capricorn) knows how to spell barometer and psychedelic, how to build a Foucault pendulum, and how to grow plums. But he has no idea how to read the social map of the traditional American public school. As one of only two remaining members on a remote alternative farm commune, Cap is homeschooled by the other,…Read More

Book Review: Flying Solo

by Ralph Fletcher
Reading level: Grades 5–8

What happens in a sixth-grade classroom when kids rule? When the regular, beloved teacher is absent, and the sub doesn’t show up? The students have several choices. They could go straight to the principal’s office to report the situation. They could take the Lord of the Flies route and go wild until they are caught. As one of the…Read More