Why We Center Social and Emotional Learning
At the heart of Reading with Relevance is a deep belief that how students feel about themselves and their lives directly impacts their ability to engage with school and succeed academically. Young people desperately need tools to express and manage their feelings, develop self-confidence, analyze and respond to the social injustices they see in their communities, and cope with the challenges they face.
Our solution: leverage diverse, culturally-affirming literature filled with relevant social justice themes to inspire youth to engage with reading, accelerate their academic achievement, and develop life-changing social and emotional skills.
Social and Emotional Learning, Defined
“Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.“
~CASEL, What is SEL?
Listen to a community youth advocate, who draws the link between social/emotional learning, positive school climate, connection to school, and academic success.
The Five Social & Emotional Learning Competencies
Managing one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations.
Understanding the perspectives of and empathizing with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts.
Establishing and maintaining healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups.
Making caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations.
Explore a few of our favorite empathy-building texts:
A New Vision: Transformative SEL
CASEL is currently working on research around a specific form of SEL implementation that concentrates on transforming inequitable settings and systems, and promoting justice-oriented civic engagement — they are calling this emergent work Transformative SEL.
In CASEL’s early research, they have identified 3 Transformative SEL Principles for uniting SEL and social justice teaching. We’re proud that Reading with Relevance translates these principles into empowering reading experiences!
Center Students’ Lived Experiences & Identities in Their Learning
Use Discussion to Validate Student Experiences of Oppression
Encourage Students to Use Their Voices for Social Justice
Explore a few of our favorite transformative titles: