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What is SEL?

SEL (Social Emotional Learning), also known as "Positive Action" is an evidence-based method of teaching the children in our school-aged program healthy and productive ways of dealing with their emotions. Neighborhood House has used SEL (Positive Action) in our Youth Program for several years.

The structure of the program is as follows:

  • The kids are taught self-concept - they define their beliefs about themselves, how they perceive and evaluate themselves, and what their attributes are.

  • Once students understand "self concept," they begin to practice positive actions for your body and mind. Lessons are reinforced with activities and materials. (Examples below.)

  • Kids in the program are then taught about managing yourself responsibly. During these lessons, students learn how to identify their skills and effectively manage their time and resources.

  • The next section of skills gets students looking outside of themselves and teaches them to treat others the way you like to be treated, reinforcing positive social skills.

  • Our kids also learn the value of telling yourself the truth. Self-honesty helps students identify the areas in which they would like to improve.

  • In learning the five skills and concepts above, kids in our program discover that improving yourself continually is a process. It doesn't end once they leave our environment. These are skills they take to home, to school and into the broader community. They will continually revisit and set personal goals for improvement on what they've learned to show positive action in their day-to-day lives.

Below are images of the students engaging in an SEL lesson with the teachers at Neighborhood House, and a copy of the "Test Your Skill" pre-test the kids in the program are given as part of exploring self-concept.

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