The 3rd ANNUAL SAM CONFERENCE DATE IS SET FOR MAY 22, 2014. MARK IT IN YOUR DIARY. STAY TUNED as we work out the details! PICTURES from 2nd Annual SEL Conference, June 12, 2013!
Welcome to the home of the SEL Alliance for Massachusetts (SAM), a group of individuals who work for schools, hospitals, associations, businesses and nonprofits that care deeply about introducing social-emotional learning (SEL) into our schools and communities as a long-term education plan to improve academics and reduce violence and addictions in our communities.
By teaching and practicing SEL skills in our schools, we will:
Increase academic achievement (up 11% universally and 17% for at-risk students).
Reduce the staggering human and financial costs caused by violence, addiction and other social maladies (social-emotional learning skills up 22%).
The purpose of the Alliance is to influence decision-makers in making SEL part of our lives by introducing it into all Massachusetts schools, pre-k – 12.
If you are interested in supporting SEL and the all-volunteer SAM (we ask for no dues and pay no salaries), simply click on “Interested in Helping?”and fill out a brief form. (Your email address will never be used for commercial purpose or given to any other corporation or person.)
New! Our membership has increased to 322 members. Each person who joins SAM is a new avenue to reach out to a legislator concerning the importance of SEL to our children and society. Tell your friends about SAM! See Committee lists for those who make up our membership. Check out the new members and what they do by looking toward the end of each listing on each page. If your name is not on a list, please write SEL4Mass@gmail.com for assistance.
New! The New Safe and Supportive Schools Legislation (see the Fact Sheet here) (H 3528) has as its lead sponsor Representative Ruth Balser. Hopefully, this bill is on its way to passage. It is now in the House Ways and Means Committee. Please contact your representatives to support this bill. It’s a simple act, but means so much in advancing SEL in all our schools.
New! Representative Ruth Balser (D-Newton) will be filing legislation in January, 2015 to make SEL training a requirement for all pre-service teachers. Kudos to the Massacusetts Consortium for Social-Emotional Learning in Teacher Education (SEL-TED) , a branch of the SEL Alliance, chaired by Deborah Donahue-Keegan and David Zussman, in making this giant leap into the future. We will all need to work together to get this passed by the Legislature because passage means that today’s new teacher graduates will be SEL-trained when they become the next generation’s superintendents and principals! Stay tuned on how you can assist us in the first piece of legislation SAM has produced.
New! There are now nine committees working on behalf of SEL in Massachusetts (scroll down). If you think of a Working Group that you’d like to form (RN’s, Social Workers, School Psychologists, perhaps), please reach out to others, take the initiative to work together to make change. If we are all working on new ideas to make improvement, to have SEL in all schools, we will make a difference.
1. The Steering Commitee, chaired by Steven Brion-Meisels, after completing our Mission Statement is moving forward by filing as a nonprofit Massachuseetts corporatiion by February, 2014. The next meeting will be in March and announced shortly. If you have questions, please contact Mitch Lyons (email@example.com).
2. The SEL Educators Group, headed up by John D’Auria of Teachers21 and Bob Lichtenstein of Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, is merging with the Exploratory Events Committee, chaired by Steven Brion-Meisels to talk about the Third Annual Spring Conference.
3. SAM’s SEL Speakers’ Bureau, chaired by Gayle Vonasek and John Bluthardt, has finished a generic PowerPoint presentation which is being reviewed by the Steering Committee. A general email will be sent out in December asking the SAM membership to join the Speakers Bureau. Maximum membership in this committee is 20 and we are already at 10 people who have volunteered to be part of this first campaign to educate the public. A workshop in the Spring, 2014 will follow so we can highlight aspects of the various group we will be addressing. Please contact Mitch Lyons at SEL4Mass@gmail.com or Gayle Vonasek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Massacusetts Consortium for Social-Emotional Learning in Teacher Education (SEL-TED) , chaired by Deborah Donahue-Keegan, ED.D. and businessman David Zussman, is advocating for more substantive integration of SEL research/practice into teacher preparation programs with the Department of Education. This group has also received word that legislation will be filed in January, 2015 to make SEL training mandatory for receiving a teaching certificate. If you’d like to know more, please contact Deborah Donahue-Keegan at email@example.com.
5. The Website Design Group, chaired by Nova Biro, is involved in improving the website to make it more user friendly and dynamic. We are currently seeking to fill a paid internship position for website development. If you have someone in mind or have any ideas as to content or presentation, please send your comments to Nova Biro at firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments are welcomed, a point that cannot be emphasized enough.
6. Exploratory Events Committee, chaired by Steven Brion-Meisels, is beginning to think about the third annual SAM conference next sping, 2014. If you have ideas, please contact Steven Brion-Meisels (email@example.com).
7. The Family and Community Committee of SAM, chaired by Karen Craddock and Margaret Kiwanuka, is aimed at exploring and advancing our understanding, practice and engagement with families and community partners around social-emotional learning. With an emphasis on convening a diverse body, the plan is to support and deepen our strategies in participatory and culturally responsive and fluent ways across the state and in partnership with other SEL related activities. To join this committee, write firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Business Involvement Working Group, chaired by David Harris and John Bluthardt, is filing nonprofit Massachusetts corporation Articles of Organization subject to review by the Steering Committee. From there, they will develop strategies to involve Massachusetts businesses in working toward SEL training for all children so that new employees may enter the labor force skilled in problem-solving, forming trusting long lasting relationships and managing their own emotions, creating a 21st century work force. If you would like to become part of this committee, please contact Mitch Lyons at email@example.com.
9. School-based Mental Health Service Providers Committee. Nancy Malatesta and Frank Stevenson, two school pyscholgists, have just formed a committe to examine the role of school-based mental health service providers in advancing SEL throughout the schools. As there are over 75 mental health providers in SAM, it will be interesting to hear the different ideas that come out of this brand new committee. To find out more, contact Nancy Malatesta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see SEL in action, click on this brief video by Learning Matters in conjunction with PBS Jim Lehrer NewsHour.