Children need social and emotional learning skills to cope. But how do we integrate SEL into remote lesson plans? In this post, I'll share how we can help students volunteer from home. Volunteering opportunities are one of the easiest ways to make SEL actionable at home. Here are 6 steps to help it happen.
We've been celebrating National Volunteer week this week! Last week, we started a series of episodes that have helped us gear up with ways to volunteer at home.
1 – Understand the research behind social-emotional learning and volunteerism.
Recently I talked to Dr. Kim Shonert-Reichl in “Helping Kids Be Healthy from Home” about the research behind helping children be stable and healthy while at home during these challenging days. In addition to the impact on health and well-being, children need to feel like they make a difference. Volunteering helps them do that.
2 – Learn how volunteerism is connected to Social-Emotional Skills Development
Watch the Global Classroom: WE Volunteer Now! on VOD to discover how to kickstart your kids' volunteerism journey, learn about the benefits of volunteerism, and how it is connected to SEL skills development.
3 – Pick a virtual volunteer action
You can volunteer virtually and it can be just as beneficial as going out into the community. There's a fantastic tip sheet you can download from the WE Schools site. Three of my fave's include connecting with a local food bank, tutoring from home to help a child (you can do this virtually), or just being kind and surprising a family member. You'll want to read and share the rest with your students.
4- Consider how SEL can fit in with your school.
Read the WE Schools Foundational Module which is a marvelous flipbook with ideas for integrating SEL into all aspects of your classroom.
5 – Remember to Reflect When You Volunteer
When you volunteer, use the WE Volunteer Now Resource to reflect on what you did and how you can improve next time. This is a great template to get you started.
6 – Listen to what other kids are doing
Jameson from New York has organized a ‘Circle of Friends' to help encourage the children of health care workers. (See video above.) He's doing this while he is at home.
Share ideas from Jameson and others (see video above) as you discuss with students how they can give back from home.
You can volunteer now from home. In fact, I think it is more important than ever. You can help others now and students will improve their well being and emotional health as they join in national volunteer week this week and beyond. Let's do this!
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