Social Emotional Learning Expands in Atlanta Public Schools with New Grant

Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, Office of Prevention and Family Support Selects Atlanta Public Schools for $345,000 Grant to Support Award-Winning SEL Program

The Office of Prevention and Family Support, within the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) has awarded over $345,000 in grant funds to support Atlanta Public Schools’ Social Emotional Learning (SEL) initiatives that include the implementation of the Second Step and the Child Protection Unit (CPU) curriculums. APS received the largest award amount and has the most schools implementing Second Step curriculum in Georgia. Grant disbursements, which began July 1, 2016, will continue through September 12, 2016.

The Second Step program is an award-winning SEL curriculum for early learning through grade eight, created by the Seattle-based nonprofit, Committee for Children. The program teaches skills for learning self-regulation, empathy, emotion management, friendship and interpersonal problem solving. When the program is taught and reinforced school wide, staff and students develop a common language, set of explicit skills and a framework for pro-social norms and expectations. Overall, Georgia DFCS has awarded more than $500,000 in grants to schools throughout the state looking to implement the Committee for Children’s Second Step program.

“APS has made Social Emotional Learning a district priority and we are committed to making sure all students have welcoming, nurturing, respectful and supportive school environments where they are physically and emotionally safe,” said APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Ed.D. “We are grateful for the generous support of DFCS as we implement SEL strategies that support whole child development.”

By fully implementing Second Step and the Child Protection Unit, Dr. Carstarphen said students will be able to understand who they are, understand and respect diversity, advocate for themselves and others, as well as develop the skills needed to be successful in school and in life.

“We are thrilled to be able to play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in Georgia communities,” said Carole Steele, Director of OPFS. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with schools, non-profit organizations and parents to impart the knowledge, skills, resources, and social support they need to provide safe, healthy, nurturing relationships and environments for our children.”

As APS continues its transformative work, this grant will support elementary schools that are onboarding SEL curriculum for the first time. Additionally, APS will roll out SEL strategy to 65 APS campuses that will serve Pre-K through 12th grade students. Full district-wide implementation will occur in the fall of 2017.

 

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