Long before her home school district – Atlanta Public Schools – decided to adopt the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) concept as a way to improve school culture, Marian Davis knew all about its benefits.
First as a psychology major at Clemson University, and then during her work in the social services field, Davis – who attended Continental Colony Elementary, Brown Middle and Grady High Schools – became a fan of SEL, so much so that she created a series of children’s books, “Chicken and Pickle,” to reinforce SEL and its principals: self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.
The books chronicle the adventures of “Chicken,” who Davis said is around “grade-school age,” and his dog “Pickle,” and feature interactive activities to help young readers learn and comprehend the lessons.
— “Smile Anyway” is about overcoming obstacles.
— “Make a New Friend” is about sharing, empathy and respecting personal space.
— “Meet Uncle Bean from Town McMean” is about having good manners and showing gratitude.
— “Get a Baby” is about getting a new sibling.
— “Sometimes We Scream” is about dealing with anger properly.
“The activities are complementary resources that are ready made for teachers to use in the classroom,” Davis said. “The books cover every competency in SEL.”
“While working in therapeutic and supportive services for children, I saw the need to help our communities create environments that will grow our curious children into emotionally and socially balanced adults,” Davis said. “This series is meant to help us become more intuitive to our children’s varying emotional states as well as our own.”