Jennings Creek Elementary School promotes mental health with social-emotional learning

(WBKO)
Published: Aug. 2, 2019 at 4:04 PM CDT
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Its a makeover in the classroom, but not in the way you think.

At Jennings Creek Elementary School teachers are focusing on a mental makeover.

For the first time ever starting this school year officials are taking class time to focus on mental health.

At the start of every day, all the teachers at the school will spend about 25 minutes leading social-emotional learning time.

"The teacher will teach self-awareness, self-regulation, and coping skills to students and these are life skills for them to be successful at school and beyond," said Becca Litsey, a teacher at Jennings Creek Elementary School.

The time will be spent fostering a safe environment for students to express their feelings and learn how to handle them.

They say, even in elementary school, students bring their home life into the classroom and it directly affects their ability to learn.

"I feel like it's important to teach kids at the youngest age possible how to deal with struggles and then you build on it from there," said Jen Moore, a teacher at Jennings Creek Elementary School.

Each day of the week will focus on something different, with the teacher weaving in the Second Step program curriculum into the social-emotional time.

"We know that relationships are the biggest thing for us, they are number one, they're the most important so that's why we came up with this. We want a time every day to build relationships with our students and with each other," said Litsey.

If the student shows signs of severe stress each classroom will now have a calming corner with coloring books and sensory objects.

"I have some posters set up, things that say, 'I am successful', 'I choose to be happy', 'I am calm, relaxed and peaceful'. I've got a light they can choose to leave it on or off," said Moore.

For more information on the second step program, you can visit secondstep.org.

Warren County Public Schools start back August 7.