April Newsletter

CONTENTS

  • OVERVIEW
  • IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION
  • IMPORTANT SEL CONFERENCE MAY 24 IN LA
  • NATIONAL SEL NETWORK FORMING
  • SEND WHAT’S WORKING/ TELL US YOUR NEEDS
  • ALLIANCE ACTIONS AND NEEDS
  • VALUABLE ARTICLES AND LINKS
  • NEW MEMBERS
  • PARTICIPATE IN SOCIAL MEDIA
  • SHARE NEWS AND EVENTS

OVERVIEW

The Alliance in March and early April has been focused on legislative actions and some internal reorganization to deal with upcoming opportunities for advancing the cause of quality immersive SEL in every California school. Because numbers matter, we have also focused on recruitment efforts with outreach calls to more than 100 organizations inviting them to join the Alliance – with several hundred more on our call list. We have also reorganized our committee structure, refined our focus on legislation, and taken steps forward with our Speakers Bureau AND are planning a number of events and gatherings, including social ones. And we added several new members (list below).

IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION

The most crucial developments at the moment are the state budget financing for SEL, now being considered in the annual budget process, and state Assembly bill 2820 introduced by Democrat Kevin McCarty, a genuine warrior in the Legislature for SEL, not to be confuse with Congressman Kevin McCarthy. We encourage everyone to reach out to your district state Assembly and state Senate reps (easy access info below) with two simple requests – support for greater SEL funding even against the expected diminishment this year of “school to prison pipeline” monies for SEL, and support for A2820 and whatever becomes its Senate version. 

On the funding side, we encourage linking the marijuana tax to funding SEL – or insisting that at least money be shifted from less valuable programs. Cite crime, violence and drug addiction reduction as basic reasons to shift funding, as well as higher grades and mentally healthier and happier students and teachers.

NOTE that your calls, emails or visits to legislators WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE because few legislators ever hear from individual constituents about specifically advancing SEL – and we need to change that to support people like McCarty. 

NOTE ALSO that any given legislator may be clueless about social-emotional learning as a term. So best also to make a reference to “school climate” and safety issues and “whole child development” along with mentioning SEL as THE key component of these matters. Be sure to refer legislators and their staff to SEL4CA.org.

School board members also can be targeted and encouraged to lobby for these measures as well as advance SEL in their own schools. Search for “school board” in (name of your city or town) and go to its website and get contact information for the board members.

If you want guidance on how best to deal with legislators and their staff, as well as how to organize around the issue in other venues, you will find it on the Alliance website at http://www.sel4ca.org/current-advocacy/

Regarding 2820, for those of you who can represent your organization, click this download link ( https://gallery.mailchimp.com/5374f623f3b74c101441a4bf8/files/69eb66ef-bec9-42fb-b3be-0f89cdcdb676/alliance_2820_letter.docx ) to a letter that had an expired deadline to submit. Still, we consider it worth modifying and sending from your organization to your legislator as well as to Patrick O’Donnell who chairs the Assembly Education Committee.

Here is more info about 2820 from a press release issued by the State School Superintendent Tom Torlakson, an SEL advocate who has endorsed 2820:

“AB 2820… sets up a ‘Community Engagement and School Climate for Continuous Improvement Block Grant.’ This fund would provide school districts, at no cost, the option of using state-vetted school climate surveys, along with support and technical assistance on the administration of the surveys and utilization of results, to improve school conditions and climate. If districts choose to use the surveys, they would be conducted annually with students, parents, teachers, and school staff.

“Too often we see students, especially low-income students of color, struggling to feel like they belong, are cared for, and supported in reaching their full potential…Research shows we can address these challenges and improve student achievement by investing in school climate surveys and community engagement… More information may be found on the CDE School Conditions and Climate Work Group Recommendations Framework(PDF).”

IMPORTANT SEL CONFERENCE IN LA, MAY 24 and HELPFUL UPCOMING WEBINAR ON FUNDING SEL, April 30

The Alliance is participating in the second annual SEL conference in Los Angeles called “Transforming Practice” that mostly attracts school personnel from the LA basin who are practitioners of and advocates for SEL – and primarily those from the 10% of LAUSD schools that have embedded SEL in their practices. It is organized under the umbrella of After The Bell by Alliance member Dr. Lori Vollandt, who heads the LAUSD SEL unit, and by members of her team.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the keynote speaker.  The featured speaker is Nicole Hockley, managing director of Sandy Hook Promise. Last year featured superb workshops. For more information go to https://achieve.lausd.net/Page/14361.
The Alliance will be tabling and bannering there and otherwise introducing attendees to our organization.

(Regarding Sandy Hook, Sandy Hook mother Scarlett Lewis, a national advocate for universal school-based SEL, has become an ally of our Alliance. Scarlett developed her own SEL program, The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, after studying the lack of emotional support and training that the shooter experienced in his life that cost Scarlett her six-year old son and the lives of 28 other children. She concluded that the massacre likely never would have happened had the killer experienced school-based SEL. Her free program, with funding from the Novo foundation, focuses on teachers learning SEL as they teach it in order to speed the process of SEL insertion in school curriculum.)   

Meanwhile, the Funding SEL Webinar can be signed on for at https://home.edweb.net/webinar/educationfunding20180430/

NATIONAL SEL NETWORK FORMING

For the last four months the Alliance has participated in actions leading to the formation of a national network of similar groups. The effort is being led by our mentor organization, the Massachusetts SEL Alliance founded by Mitch Lyons and now directed by Jim Vetter. At this point about 40 organizations – some statewide in their states, some more localized but seeking to grow statewide – are participating in establishing guidelines and goals.

Like our state Alliance, the national Alliance – to operate soon at SEL4US.org – is meant to fill a gap that has existed since the dawn of SEL 40 years ago. The gap is little to no coordinated action to forward SEL adoption coming from SEL enthusiasts, program developers, beneficiaries and social-change organizations. One benefit of a national Alliance already apparent is learning what advocacy methods others are using that is working; another is co-developing approaches such as to speaking engagements and approaching major businesses and institutions for support.

SEND WHAT’S WORKING/ TELL US YOUR NEEDS

We want to hear from you. Please send to info@sel4ca.org for publication any information and stories about what is working in your local SEL sphere and also your ideas about what directions the Alliance should take in order to be most helpful. In other words, even if you don’t join a committee or take on many tasks, at least provide ideas and information and help guide our direction in ways that will likely be most effective.

GET INVOVED: ALLIANCE ACTIONS AND NEEDS

DELEGATIONS:  Let us know by emailing info@sel4ca.org if you are prepared to join upcoming delegations, including to LAUSD school board members and key staff executives, and to key legislators. Or ready to organize a delegation to your school district officials and others you believe could advance the cause, and want to reach out to us for help. 

MEMBERSHIP RECRUITMENT: Numbers make a difference in our advocacy work, even if your organization or you are only listed as a member when decision-makers visit our website. Sign up at http://www.sel4ca.org/helping-sel4ca/ if you have not already and instead only wanted these emails.

Also, very important, please click this download link ( https://gallery.mailchimp.com/5374f623f3b74c101441a4bf8/files/b18b3261-e084-40d1-bf46-e198158d51a9/Alliance_Brochure_5.docx ) to the recruitment brochure to send people and organizations you believe care about the cause, or would benefit from our work to help their own causes. Membership is free and carries benefits and no obligations.

LEADERSHIP: We are seeking co-chairs for our committees. The expanded committee list can be found at http://www.sel4ca.org/helping-sel4ca/. You can also elect to join the steering committee.

SPEAKERS BUREAU: A number of members have signed up for the Speakers Bureau as speakers, and we have created speaker guidelines. Now we need help from you in arranging more speaking engagements before all kinds of groups, large and small, and particularly parent,  teacher and business groups. More speakers are also welcome. Email info@sel4ca.org.

EVENTS AND TABLING: Notify us of events at which we might table if you cannot table yourself. Let us know if you have spare time to help table at events. We have created tabling content. Email info@sel4ca.org.

DONATE DIRECTLY:  Funding will be used to create events and to continue to pay our part-time (hopefully soon full-time) administrative assistant – our one employee, since everyone else is volunteer and this is an investment that speeds our growth and effectiveness. You can tax-deductible donate via our fiscal sponsor, BigEQ Campaign/Earthways Foundation, at https://bigeqcampaign.networkforgood.com/. If you donate online, send an email to info@sel4ca.org stating that it is for the Alliance. Or you can send a check made out to Earthways Foundation/BEQC and be sure to write in the memo line at the bottom “For SEL4CA.”  The address is 20178 Rockport Way, Malibu CA 90265.

ATTEND OR HOST A FUN SEL FUNDRAISING DINNER PARTY

To participate in an upcoming dinner party, send a request for more information about upcoming ones toevents@sel4ca.org. To host a dinner event for friends and colleagues at your home, you can find information at sel4ca.org/dinner-party/.

VALUABLE ARTICLES AND LINKS

Supporting Students with Chronic Trauma
How do Young People Feel About Technology

NEW MEMBERS

Graci Marroqin – teacher, Menifee, CA.

Megan Green – regional director, Center for the

Collaborative Classroom, Alameda, CA

Emily Cremidis, education consultant, Novato, CA

Nelly Zahiri – psychologist and TV producer/host of Mom Talk, Encino, CA

Erica Buxton – CEO, EQtainment, Manhattan Beach, CA.

Kevin Maloney – EQtainment, Manhattan Beach, CA

Shaira Badran – biology educator and consultant, Encino, CA

Seth Caldwell – founder, Snapchallenge.org, Santa Monica, CA

Nini White – founder, Kids Own Wisdom, Petaluma, CA

Pam Herkner – principal, Juan Cabrillo School, Malibu, CA

Maria Castilleja – trainer, Sanford Harmony, National University, Long Beach, CA

Carmen Cooper – teacher, Cape Town, South Africa

PARTICIPATE IN SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SEL4CA.org/
Twitter: @SEL4CA (please also post to your own stream with #sel4ca)
Instagram: sel4ca  (please post to your own stream with #sel4ca)
Hashtag (all social media): #SEL4CA

SHARE NEWS AND EVENTS AND FIND OUT WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING

On the News & Events tab at www.SEL4CA.org you can read postings or send in your own.  Please send news or sharings you want posted to info@sel4ca.org and event announcements to events@sel4ca.org.

POST A JOB OPPORTUNITY OR SEEK EMPLOYMENT OR CONSULTING

By sending an email to info@sel4cal.org and view them at sel4ca.org/jobs-available/.

*FOR ANY OTHER NEEDS, CONTACT US AT INFO@SEL4CA.ORG